Saturday, January 8, 2011
Hello from the lovely Jorge Chavez Airport in Lima, Peru! It’s 3:00 AM and after about 20 strolls around the airport, I finally found an unoccupied electrical outlet that I can plug my laptop into. You may be wondering what I’m doing in the airport this time of night (or should I say day?). I’m waiting to catch my flight in route to Cajamarca at 5:30 PM. Normally, a typical bus ride from Lima to Cajamarca would take about 16 hours. But why endure the pain if you can catch a one hour flight on one of the most comfortable airlines in South America--LAN Peru. Did I mention they have great snacks!?!
You may have also been wondering what happened to me for the past month. After our end of the year gathering with all twelve village banks, I returned to Texas to spend the holidays with my family based in Houston and Austin. During my stay I also met with Maggie for two days straight preparing my work goals for the year and drafting a strategic plan for Hope House activities during my first three months in sight. Needless to say, I am definitely ready for action! The theme for this year is all about growth and innovation—taking what we have and thinking outside the box as to how we can continue to provide our women with classes that are meaningful and useful as they embark on a journey of building a business and a credit history. Beyond our goal of forming 10 new villagebanks, one of my first tasks will be to develop a holistic model that conceptualizes how our development classes impact our women on three distinct levels—as a woman, mother, and entrepreneur. That way we can ensure that we are catering to our women’s needs and wants in an integral fashion. The reasoning behind this is that we need to start at the core, first with a woman’s self-esteem as well as her purpose and motivations and desires. This in turn affects her ability to interact with the world around her, most notably, her family. It then trickles into her business and what she can offer to the world. All components go hand-in-hand and affect one another. As you can see I’ve been brainstorming. I’ll also be busy locating instructors and organizing classes for the year. Our women are asking for some awesome classes: nutrition and fitness, English, parenting classes, relaxation classes, self-defense, among others.
When I think about the task at hand it’s pretty daunting but I’m up for the challenge. What an amazing opportunity I’ve been given. I look forward to keeping you posted on the journey ahead with all its unexpected twists and turns. Happy New Year to all!