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Showing posts from 2007

La Carpio High School

Where's Kenlor?

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So there we are, waiting outside of the Facultad de Educacion, and things are looking bleak. We were supposed to meet Kenlor, our contact at Adapte (the microloan place we want to work with) at 2pm and it's now 2:40. And if I understood correctly (which is only a 60% chance in this crazy language) we were supposed to me in front of the Facultad de Educacion at the University of Costa Rica. Now after having attended this university for a full semester, I pride myself in two things:
1. Being able to understand the school's name when I hear it.
2. Read signs posted outside of buildings.

These two skills firmly intact, I was now entirely sure that I was at the UCR, in front of the Facultad de Educacion. I deferred to Sarah on matters of time as she had a watch, and she quickly confirmed that it was Tuesday and we had been waiting for the last 45 minutes. Both of us being fairly sure that it was the right year, we were left with two options:
1. Kenlor stood us up.
2. Kenlor does no…

Now in Chiapas!

A quick rundown of a few of the wonderful things that have happened in the last two days.
1. Left our host family in Jungapeo. That was actually hella sad.
2. Had probably the most exciting airport encounter ever. Our bus dropped us off at the airport 30 minutes before our plane left. Not knowing where the ticket counter was, we ran until we found a security guard, and ran more tossing a rushed "gracias" his way as we continued in the direction he indicated. Before we even got to the ticket counter, Sarah shows one of the Click Mexicana employees our boarding passes and says that we only have 25 minutes to get ourselves on the plane. He says it's possible but very difficult. At this he leads us ducking under the barriers they use to control the flow of lines at airports. We cut the line at security, get waved through (as opposed to the 20 minutes TSA took to search the bags in SFO) and run to the gate. At this point our tireless guide leaves us with 15 minutes to sp…

Mexico Day 4: Jungapeo/Zitacuaro

Things worth noting: we had a meeting with an MFI operating in Zitacuaro, the "big city" right next to Jungapeo. It was just a preliminary meeting, so hopefully we'll get a follow-up to find out more about the wonder that is microloans. Basically the meeting consisted of:

Sarah: Question?
Woman: Sorry, I can't answer that until I get permission.
Sarah: Oh, okay. Other question?
Woman: Yeah, can't answer that either.
Sarah: Request to record a short video of you saying it's important to help poor women?
Woman: Yeah, there's no way that's going to happen.
Ezra: Well, we're out of questions then.
Woman: Damn right you are.

Fin

She said she might be able to talk to us more later, but I'm not really holding my breath. Strange that it would be so bureaucratic, but that's how it is sometimes. I can't really blame her I guess. It just wasn't the warm gringo reception I had hoped for. Perhaps my sense of self importance needed a slight reality check.

Off we go!

Well, Sarah and I are off to Mexico and Costa Rica to learn first-hand about the wide world of microfinance. It'll be awesome. More updates when we get there and things start happening.

Thank you so much to the Forest Foundation who gave us the money to get this project off the ground, and giving it to us just in the nick of time!

And I want to give a big thank you to all the people who donated to our project. We raised a grand total of $0 out of our desired "More than $0", so all in all, we only missed the target by a little bit. Moreover, several billion people donated $0, which is an incredible participation rate for our first time doing this!


Rock and roll,

Ezra

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