Monday, 1 March 2010

Visit from Howard Buffet & Howard Buffet Jr.

After hassling through a couple of weather delays we were priviledged to receive a visit in Jalabad from Howard Buffet and Howard Buffet Jr., sons of Warren Buffet. Mr. Buffet leads the Howard G. Buffet Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to natural resource management and agriculture. Due to the weather delays we were only able to offer him about three hours on the ground. First, the Buffets met with the provincial agriculture and other government officials at the Nangarhar Provincial Reconstruction Team headquarters to learn from the Afghanis about their agricultural challenges and goals. Next we helo'd to Torkham Gate for a quick brief on the movement of commerce through that important portal with Pakistan, and a walking tour of the border. Mr. Buffet spent most of his time talking to the streetside vendors of fruits and nuts, asking about where the fruits come from, shelf life, and marketing. One vendor candidly answered his question about what happened to his oranges when they spoiled by stating he lowered the price as time went along, selling them before they became unsellable! I didn't get to spend much time talking to these gentlemen but it was truly an honor to meet such distinguished guests and see them in action. Both Howard and his son are remarkably genuine and gracious people, epitomizing one of the 7 habits of sucessful people: seeking first to understand.

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