Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lost in Communication

Today was a day, but isn't every day a day? I had set up two different meetings with two different village banks. In the morning I traveled an hour, 40 minutes of which was a hike out in between cow pastures (although I do realize many of my friends in the U.S. commute this amount of time daily, so I am not complaining, just saying). Upon arriving to the usual meeting location for "Perlita" bank I found a closed barbed wire fence and no one, only a couple of lazy dogs. So I waited. No one. Then a neighbor came out, who is part of the bank, and asked me what I was doing.
"I am here for the meeting with the bank members, only problem is that no one is here."
Andrea, the nice neighbor, didn't know about the meeting. I guess the message didn't arrive. This isn't the first time. And, I think it won't be the last either. So Andrea and I chatted for a bit. She bought a bull with her sister-in-law with their loan money. She is hoping to make a profit, but from the sounds of it, she pays quite a bit to rent land for the bull to graze; so hopefully she will at least break even. We talked about how she loves to raise animals and wants to be involved with the literacy classes that are starting at some point. She is a quiet bank member in the group, but really opened up to me this morning. She is going to spread the message that I will come back next week to meet with the whole group. I hope the message doesn't get lost again. Left me with more food for thought about supporting the women in money (business) management. It seems to be a reoccurring theme here, along with the idea that some women hold, " Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose." True, but YOU also can make decisions so that you have more wins than loses.

Then in the afternoon I went to a different village bank, where there was also some lack of communication understanding. I went to talk to "Triunfo" to get some more concrete information about how they want to proceed with literacy class, and then also take some more pictures of the members. Lorenzo, the president, was there - but everyone else was out working. She was actually on her way to the office to visit me. We almost just missed each other. She didn't understand that I was coming out to her neighborhood, and I thought I was going to meet with everyone. And this is all happening just when I am feeling very fluent and good about my communication with the banks. I need to re-think this - the whole communication thing. What I have found is that if you tell someone something one or two days prior - there is a greater likelihood of it happening. When I try and plan meetings a week or more in advance it usually falls flat in my face and I get a good walk in, but no group meeting. So at the moment I am feeling a little lost in communication.

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