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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

 

Still working on the lights

Kate explains the new materials (by The Grove) to Kamela and how she can use them in her training.

Kamela checks out the new strategic planning materials that Kate has brought her.

Kamela has a new employee, Bhawna, who has moved from India to work with
Kamela on strategy and business development.


Sign arrives! Logo created by Bpeacer Christina Rodriguez back in the states!

Hope Pam likes this.

A table for tea we hope Pam will like.

An AWBF board member explains the results of her team's brainstorming session.

Life goes on in Kabul with shops that carry everything you might need.

A pastry shop displays neat stacks of yummy treats.

Perspective always refreshed here. It is the great gift of Afghanistan to those of us who live otherwise spoiled lives, rich with security and comforts. Athena and I had JUST finished a discussion regarding the Serena hotel and how it has made the difference for us this trip. Our energies have been sustained why working 16 to 18 hour days to have this beautiful and comfortable refuge after days spent shivering --- cold and grimy in the city's shops, offices and homes.

But perspective was waiting on the laptop's inbox. The rest of the city is not quite as comfortable. Most neigborhoods get 2 or 3 hours of electricity every other day. Of course the well-to-do spend thousands of dollars on batteries to run electric powered machinery and generators to light their homes. But most residents do without. It is eerie to stand in the street as the last light leaves the sky and hear the sizzle and snap of lights which have been dark for days begin to come on. Kabul residents rush to run their appliances in the few hours allotted.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: ANSO
Sent: Tuesday, December 12, 2006 5:38 PM
General Advisory - Possible Demonstration

Dear Colleagues,

The media has publicized that Kabul citizens
should take part in a demonstration against the Government to protest a lack of electricity.

Should a demonstration take place, ANSO advises the humanitarian community to restrict movement in the city centre in order to avoid any disturbances or possible traffic delays.

ANSO Central will be monitoring the situation and will update as relevant.

Regards.


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Another very full day here. It's after 9pm and we are still working as we have been since 5am (Kate getting cranking as its day 2 with no time for a run). Athena and I just finished dinner meeting with Kamela and her wonderful new associate and partner Bhanna Agarwal who will help finish the business plan. This is a powerhouse pair. We felt lucky that they have invited us along for the ride. Kamela is preparing to deliver training in Kandahar to a group of men! She has promised to take pictures. Before dessert Kate delivered a set of strategy training curriculmn she has fallen in love with from a California company called The Grove. Athena found them and is huge fan. The graphic approach absolutely crosses cultures. Kamela was wowed. The group agreed to complete refining the business plan for end of January and then to actively search for a U.S. sponsor for Kamela and her business.

Athena and Kate spent day 3 with the AWBF board: Communication, creativity, and commitment were the big topics of the leadership development workshop. The board found new solutions to old communication issues that they believe will make a big change in the way they work together.

These women are sharp and were ready to roll up their sleeves and make some real changes. They loved learning and practicing techniques for generating, choosing and committing to ideas. By the end of the day they were pleased to recognize that when they understand the fundamental nature of a problem, they are capable of coming up with numerous solutions. We learned that some things transcend culture: Communication is key to a team's success; creativity and learning happen when you get out of your chair and try new things to access your thinking; and everyone likes to have fun!

Steve is outside the Serena smoking a cigar among the big trucks coming and going with armed guards. He spent the evening with room service (Afghan stew) and a computer documenting RKA store processes. We will review them together when he returns. He spent day finishing up outfitting the store, getting furniture delivered. His afternoon was spent with Nargis for her second tutorial on yoga.

The store's sign was delivered! Tomorrow the rest of the fixtures are due. Inshallah. Thursday morning Kate and Steve will train the associates on ticketing and receiving so they can begin to move inventory into the shop over the 'weekend'. Store should open next week!

Got to go back to work. Later



Comments:
The sign. The sign. It's beautiful. It's big. It's real. I'm trying to recruit ELS, Bpeace's most astute shopper to go on the April mission and drive traffic to the RKA store. She's "penciled in." I can't wait to see pix of the store fully stocked.

I know you guys well, and how much you accomplish every day in the US. But when I read what you do every day in Kabul, in the land of no infrastrature, crazy traffic and no Lattes, I'm stunned. You've set the bar high for every mission to follow.

--Toni
 
In business they say: Show me the results. Your mission and all the planning and preparation that preceeded it have produced concrete results - a RETAIL STORE owned asnd run by Bpeace associates. That's real progress!!!! As I said previously, you did it under the toughest of circumstances. I hope you have a pleasant trip home. See you soon. ZBest RayM
 
As a new member of Bpeace, I sit in awe and amazement of the work, the spirit, the commitment and the love that is represented in this mission. I'm glad I joined. Safe travels home.

Sherry
 
Suhanasoft is an Indian Web Design Company , web development and Search Engine Optimization company providing low cost web design , web development and Search Engine Optimization services for smaller and medium sized businesses. Established in 2005, we have developed and designed more than 1000 websites from around the world. Our quality and professional services has made us stand so far.Web Design Company India
 
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