Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Coffee Chaos

After a quiet working afternoon with Maggie at the 4 star hotel & spa I now feel completely recovered from yesterday. I wasn't sick yesterday; My body was just completely amazed and shocked by the amount of women that came to meet Maggie in the tiny Afider office. We organized an "informal" meet and greet The Director which surpassed my wildness dreams of participation. I arrived at the office at 3:05pm to find more than a dozen women waiting for the office doors to open. As soon as I opened the office doors it was as if a flood gate was open. As I scurried around the office to get things ready, every time I looked at the door there were new faces pouring into the office and immediately the women began playing musical chairs. Where to sit? We had planned for about 30 women. There were more than 70, 80, 90? We went next door to look for chairs, Vanessa brought stools on the motorcycle, we asked the neighbor to let us use some benches. So you would think with all this chaos that the women would lose their patience, complain, and who knows what else...But, the three tiny rooms that were filled with both sitting and standing women, as if they were coming out of the woodwork, all patiently waited for their coffee, saltine crackers, and words from the Director. We turned our informal meeting into an afternoon with speeches and a brainstorming session. Last year I may have lost my cool at a gathering like this; yelling at someone - Why isn't the coffee ready? Why didn't we plan better? This room didn't get marmalade yet! But this year I took it all in and just went with the chaos and enjoyed it. I loved seeing so many women squished into a tiny little place, filled with hope and excitement for what this year may bring. Curious and anxious to learn and participate with DiscoverHope Fund. My own hope and goal is to keep the fire burning - keep women coming back to fill up our small spaces with big passions and a helping hand to get them closer to their dreams.

After a much deserved restful night Maggie and I still had some things to work out for planning for 2009. Where better than the Laguna Seca in Los Banos? The sounds of birds, not combis. The air full of vapor, not smoke. The scene of endless flower bushes, not trash. The peace to think clearly, not be distracted by blarring cumbia music.
In Peru you gotta know how to handle both: the chaos and the stillness. We embrace the stillness today and dived into the brainstorming, planning and goal setting for this year. And, let me tell you, if we have as much participation as we had yesterday in the office it is gonna be a pretty amazing year.

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