It’s been a while since I’ve put up a post on my happenings, so I figure I would catch everyone up.
For Small Business Development Volunteers, September and October are busy months. Any reader of my blog will know that I work with high school students, teaching them entrepreneurship. Beginning in late September, we hold a series of competitions for the students to show off their products and business plans. We start in each classroom in September, then we have school-wide competitions, followed by city-wide, department-wide, and finally nation-wide in November. Planning has been taking a lot of my time.
- Preparing my counterpart teachers are students
- Visiting teachers from other towns in the Department to see if they want to participate, are eligible, and the students are ready to participate
- Finding locations for the competitions
- Finding judges for the competitions
- Fundraising for the competitions
And this kind of stuff just takes longer here than in my old life as a consultant. In the US we use cell phones and e-mail very effectively, but people don’t always have minutes for their phones in Nicaragua, and there is a lot less e-mail usage. Basically, if you want to be sure to get a message across, you’ve gotta show up in person. Sometimes I spend entire mornings riding my bike around just visiting people and following-up on prior visits and requests. If I didn’t have a bike I would not be nearly as effective a Volunteer.
Let’s see, what else?
Last Friday my “Peace Corps Volunteer Leader” had to visit me to see how I was doing. We decided to use the visit to go to the roof of the León Cathedral. It recently got a paint job, and they are so determined to keep it clean they make you take your shoes off. I recommend putting on sunglasses and sunblock before taking a look at these pictures:
Follow this link to a blog post from a travel blogger that has pictures of the Cathedral from before the roof was repainted.
I also went to Granada over the weekend, and I am hopefully heading to Somoto Canyon for this first time this weekend (I have three days of school off next week for Central American/Nicaraguan Independence!).
Other than traveling and the business competition planning, it is a lot of the same old down here. Co-planning and co-teaching, and working with a few business owners to improve their businesses. I may write a few posts about the businesses I work with based on my mom’s suggestion. Some people might be interested in how they are currently operating and how I am trying to help them.
In my free time I have been dominating at Monday night bar trivia. I have placed four weeks in a row now, along with my teammates. First, second, and third all go home with bottles of rum, so I currently have enough rum in my room to sink a pirate ship. The only thing is, I haven’t won first place yet!
Last thing: I started a new blog on economics. That took up a fair bit of my time last week.