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Saturday, December 09, 2006



Pam's entourage in front of RKA with its temporary signage courtesy of Kate Meth's daughter Hayley.

Cool boxes ... good for rolled up carpets!

This is a lot colder than Phoenix: Athena with the Artemis fellows.

Stop the car!

Pam was late for a meeting with the RKA associates at the Serena and rushing through Kabul traffic. But after a frustrating afternoon searching for the perfect piece of furniture with Farid, Steve and Najib she spied a furniture maker on the street. Quick turn around of the van and 15 minutes later a new table had been designed and a $20 deposit paid. Pick up is scheduled for Tuesday. It was that kind of day. The afternoon was spent with the RKA associates at the Serena discussing co-operative policies around merchandise selection and quality control. We really felt good about their consensus around key issues.

The store sign has been ordered . . .makes it feel official somehow.

So here is where the RKA store stands: fixtures ordered, store painted, sign ordered, furniture pieces falling into place, store to be cleaned tomorrow, store supplies on site and boxed (thanks Kate Meth and Steve), fixture plans to be discussed Sunday with Merchandise Team, inventory and sales recording processes to be taught to the Finance Committee on Tuesday (by Steve:), fixtures to be installed on Wednesday, another clean-up to follow, associates to begin bringing their merchandise to the store Thursday (after Bpeace team leaves for home) and Saturday. Long distance problem solving and fixture adjustment by email with Pam, Steve and Kate late Saturday and Sunday. MONDAY is targeted as our SOFT OPEN.

Bpeace in the news again
Kate and Laila gave an interview to a local reporter at the Serena who was eager to take a picture with the RKA associates who were meeting in the Residents Lounge so he could include it in the story. Proud moment for Kate and Pam. They also have television so reporter has requested time for television interviews. Time? Sure we have SO MUCH FREE TIME? Yikes!

Education continues: Theirs and Ours
Meanwhile Athena and Kate spent the morning (and Athena the afternoon) at AWBF's Training Center (where they smiled to see pictures themselves on lobby bulletin boards from the July training). Kate was leading "How to Export" and Athena was working with the latest batch of Artemis graduates. Really great sessions. Kate gave got on her soapbox one more time to ask the teachers to guide their students toward the modernization of Afghan soul and not allow it, and the accompanying business opprtunity, to be swallowed by imported goods.

Phoenix in Kabul This year and last, the Artemis Program at Thunderbird University in Phoenix brought a total of 30 Afghan businesswomen to the US for two weeks of business training. Bpeace has been lucky to have 9 of its Associates participate in the program. This year’s group left Phoenix only a month ago. Athena, who taught at this year’s Artemis program, was engaged by Thunderbird to do some follow-up with the Artemis Fellows while she was in Kabul. Nasima and Habiba, two of the Bpeace Associates who were in this year’s Artemis program were there..

Athena split them into two groups to talk together about what inspired them about the Artemis program to get them re-connected to that. She had them draw pictures and write on flip chart pages on the table in front of them. Then they reported back to each other -- which took a bit too long, but some great stuff came out of it. They loved their mentors, the Grand Canyon, the hospitality...but the really interesting thing was there were a lot of circles of people in their drawings, holding hands or with arrows between them. They told me that was all about what they learned about networking and team work and how working together is so much better than working individually. This was a really strong theme, which was great to hear.

Food Dinner again tonite at the Serena. The buffet is too good and we are all eating too much dessert. We get out tomorrow nite for dinner and refreshments in town with our CIPE collegues.

Kate's Jewelry Exhibition
About to begin room exhibition of some jewelry Kate bought in 10 minutes as she dashed between AWBF and meetings at the Serena. She always finds a way!

Sounds like a great day....
OOOOHHHH Jewelry...think Gala Auction...thanks to Athena we already have one great piece coming in...enjoy the evening
See note I just left on previous day's blog
The other Kate
The value of the experienced and practical hands-on assistance for the RKA store and Nargis is priceless. But what I would really like to know is what Najib tells his family after a day with you all. Wish I could be a fly on that wall (with a translator).

You are all doing a great job. I know you are tired. Hope you are also joyful.

Tired? Us?

I have been referred to as Herr Kate by members of the Kabul team. Do you think this means something?

Kate B
What fantastic work you are doing -- and I can just hear Pam now saying "stop that car". I so admire you all, and can't wait to hear some of these stories first hand. Keep up that incredible energy level!
Not to fear Toni, we are joyous and although Kate might be keeping us "focused" she is not a tyrant. Of course, for a more unbiased perspective, see Pam and Athena.
SOOOOOOOO excited that Nargis and Zuhra have been using the Venus System. Congratulate Nargis and Zuhra for me, did I mention I was excited for them!
Congratulations to Kate and Steve for being such great instructors. Kate, its really amazing to see them working out like this. Mean time Julie had intrigued many people at her kettlebell seminar about Venus Fitness. The directors have asked her to give a speach today about BPEACE, Nargis and the Peace Bells. Julie thanks Kate for her nerves of steel as she speaks infront of everyone.
Love to you
Just wanted to say that I am following and support what you all are doing. Great work!
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