While I was spending the day feeling sorry for myself--too tired to do anything, too cash-strapped to go anywhere, the world of technology conspiring to put Left Bank under--I got an unexpected email from a customer and sister business owner, Lisa Hollenbeck, co-owner of The Alpine Shop. The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) had put out a call for women in business to act as mentors for businesswomen in Afghanistan and Rwanda and were desperate to fill a couple of slots, most notably, they were in need of a bookstore.
This seemed significant and I responded to the contact in the email. It is now barely 24 hours from my first timid note offering my services and it looks like Left Bank Books will be hosting Lydie, a bookseller in Rwanda the week of August 19-24!!
In fact, Jarek and I will be hosting Lydie in our home (if she's not averse to dogs). It will be a bit of a Left Bank immersion experience for her.
I know very little more at this point--only that she is looking to work to establish libraries for schools and hospitals, that the program we are to be a part of is called Peace Through Business, is in its second year, was created by the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women and also has something to do with Northwood University in Cedar Hill, Texas. They build democracy by enabling women to contributed to the GNP of their countries. Hmmm...will have much to learn this summer!
I am pinching myself. I keep expecting them to write and tell me they've changed their minds. But I've got Lydie's email address and we will spend the summer getting to know each other.
(And I will spend the summer cleaning my house!)
Seriously, this is an amazing chance to make a difference in someone's life halfway across the world. And the circumstances under which Lydie has to do business will no doubt thrust my own pathetic whining into stark relief!
I will continue to post as the story unfolds.