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Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Who shall you tell?

Steve (behind the lens) and Katrin Fataki, at right, meets with the RKA Finance Team.

An exciting moment for Kate, Laila, and Bakhnazera -- The sign is up! We are official!

Bakhnazera in front of the beautiful fitting room curtain.

Kate demonstrates how to use one of the store fixtures designed by Pam.

Athena and Kate with the AWBF board. Their Vision Journey is on the wall behind them.

Bpeace Associate Nasima is a member of the AWBF board. Here she is with Athena
in front of the Vision Journey the Board created together.

Dinner among friends.

Kate, the sparkling birthday girl.

Tomorrow we will crush a day's activities into a few hours and then there will be rushed airport goodbyes, tears (waterfalls) and a hesitant step onto the plane home.

But today our hearts our full with hope.

We saw the store begin to take shape. Fixtures arriving, curtains being hung, lovely furniture being being delivered piece by piece. A sign proudly set in place. A dream coming to life. Not ours, but theirs. Tomorrow we will work on nuts and bolts. Inventory check-in, SKU numbers and merchandise displays. In the coming weeks there will be many small disasters. But today a group of 10 Afghan women came together to make a business together . . .

We were witnesses to progress. Who shall we tell?

We felt the connection that comes with spending time with our associates. Steve and RKA's finance committee (Laila, Suria and BK) met with Katrin. It was Steve's first time leading an associate meeting. Laila told Kate that it was a "great meeting". Steve watched the team work through some tough decisions. They came together in productive conflict. Then Steve went on to meet with and Sultana and Nargis at Venus System. Yoga will be offered at a women's gym in Kabul

We were witnesses to progress. Who shall we tell?

We saw a board of directors begin to take its place as role models for Afghan women.
Athena: It is almost impossible to describe the feeling that comes when everyone in the room knows that something big has happened between a group of people. This is what Kate and I had the privilege of feeling and witnessing with the AWBF board today. After a journey of four days together we arrived at the end with a sense of joy and real hope for this group of leaders -- that they indeed have the potential to effect real change for the women of Afghanistan. The journey had ups and downs, surprises and conflicts, moments of tension and gales of laughter. We were not sure what the ultimate result would be. These women took it all on and brought their full selves to the process. Witnessing their engagement in their own development created an indelible memory for both Kate and me. . . .

We were witnesses to progress. Who shall we tell?

Tonight the team went out to dinner with Kabul friends: Beth, Amy, Jon, Sam and Virginia joined Kate, Athena and Steve for another Lebanese dinner. Kate was surprised with a cake replete with sparklers. Suspect I might remember this one. Next to us was a family out for the evening with their small children. A birthday cake was presented with great fanfare. A scene unimaginable in our first visits . . .

We were witnesses to progress. Who shall we tell?

We left the US with too little time and then Dubai stole three more days. A few days ago there were doubts we could complete the tasks at hand, let alone make this time truly meaningful. But the team is transformed tonight. We have made an impact and more importantly have felt the impact which comes from the momentum built on each visit. Bpeace can be proud of the associates who let us in to their lives . . .

You are witnesses to progress. Who shall you tell?

Oh my god. I am so impressed with and proud of you guys. Of course I already knew you were wonderful, but the obvious impact you have had with the work of this mission is truly inspiring. And, what a perfect way to end the trip. Happy Birthday Kate! Have a relaxing trip back home. I cant wait to hear all the stories.
Ok. Now you made me cry. But come on...you're not just witnessing progress, you're instigating it. Well done.

I am so impressed with the team and the associates, and heartened by all that is happening.


Good on all of you.

Safe journey home, much love to all and many hugs [and a BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KATE!]


You four are amazing - what you have accomplished in just a few days will move these associates to a new level (retail store, yoga class, business plans, etc). Have an uneventful trip home and enjoy the holidays. Can't wait to hear the rest of the stories. Happy birthday Kate.
Cheers to Toni's comment. . .you've all made a huge contribution and helped make these things happen. Congratulations to all. Truly inspiring!! Happy Birthday, cousin. . .safe travels to all.
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