Friday, March 19, 2010

"Strength and Blessings"

Strength and Blessings, translated in spanish as "Fuerza y Bendicion," is the name of the new village bank formed yesterday. I went to the bank formation thinking I would witness, take pictures and invite women to classes at the Hope House. I did that and a little more.

So the bank formation went like this:
Women trickle in two by two into the open patio space that was surrounded by mud walls in the countryside, Tartar Chico, outside of Banos de Inca. The rain softly reminded us that we were safe and dry under the tin roftop. Elizabeth took the newly elected President, Secretary and Treasurer aside to give them a quick pep talk about how the meeting would go. The formal speeches started. A meeting in Peru is not complete without a long winded formal speech. Then, yours truely - with no advanced notice - did the swearing in ceremony. I admit, I tried not to fall into the long winded speech category. Since our new bank members are all evangelical we had a toast with Pepsi, instead of the wine Oswaldo brought, and congratulated one another on the bank formation. Oswaldo presented the loan money to the president, who together with her new directives counted the money. It was all there. The 3 directives then sat down in front of a wobbly wooden table covered with a blanket to give the corresponding loan amount to each respective bank member. It ran so smooth and it was all so well orquested by Elizabeth. We had little chickens running around at our feet and small children asking for more Pepsi, but nothing crazy. After the loans were dispersed Oswaldo explained the pay back system, including savings account and accrued interest. I also added my invitation to the group to participate in classes. The final part of our meeting was a plate full of potatoes covered in spicy yellow sauce. A perfect end to a perfect village bank formation.

Paz ~ Nora

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