Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Then back to hotel for a car reshuffle where we joined Jita and Delilah. Delilah is now recovered, but unfortunately and frustratingly for her, came down with a bit of a nasty sore throat and fever. We are blaming the airline travel. Jita stayed home with her to speed her recovery. Once we confirmed that health was well on the way, we had a quick bite to eat and then everyone was out the door.

The US Embassy received Marla and Anne where they met with Cari McIntosh, Coordinator Ambassadors Special Self-Help Fund Democracy and Human Rights Fund
Relationship Development (These titles are quite something aren’t they?).

Bpeacers were cheered on by the embassy. Cari communicated that our strategy and approach was distinctive and spot on with the needs of the country. They are eager to help make the right connections for us and assist in our understanding of the complex political and NGO landscape.

Cari shared her perspective on emerging economic opportunities with tourism, ICT and coffee among the key areas. The group spent time discussing other agriculture opportunities in Rwanda (which include Anne’s favorite honey bees) and were made aware of another coffee cooperative, ADAR. We will follow-up.

One does not have to spend too much time in Rwanda to know that tourism could be a real industry here. The country is beautiful and has lakes, gorillas, mountains, lovely weather, great food and warm people. To make this happen there is a need for Rwanda branded product (impossible to find even a t-shirt here) and credit industry to emerge. Credit card acceptance remains quite limited.

Women for Women International was the next stop for Marla and Anne. Berra Kabarungi is the Country Director and identified a labor source for Cari’s knitters among their programs.

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