Today we began the task of gathering data on the micro loan project we started three years ago in Rodger Deshon. Bright eyed and bushy tailed we dragged ourselves out of bed at 6:00 a.m. to get ready for another day in the hot and humid Nicaraguan sun. First we met Juan Carlos, our Spanish translator for the day. He graciously accepted to be dragged along as we walked miles around Rodger Deshon to interview previous micro loan recipients. Our first interview was with Amaria Jarquim. She used her micro loan to help fund her tortilla business, and also used some of the money to start the transition to buying clothing. She spoke of how the loan was such a blessing, and what a positive impact it has had on her life, and especially the lives of her children . The second interview was with the community leader Guillermo, who used the loan to help expand his pig butchery business. Following Guillermo was Marta Israel Gomez. She ran a tortilla business and used the loan to help purchase more raw materials, but unfortunately had to use most of the loan for hospital visits for her daughter had been hit by a motorcycle. The next interview took place with a worker for Yahaira Flores. The micro loan we supplied had enabled Yahaira to employ the neighbors, and created enough supply that the employees were able to make more money. Though the relentless sun and humidity threatened to completely exhaust our team, we made it through many micro loan follow up interviews, yet the results were overwhelmingly positive. Those who received the loans in Rodger Deshon were using the money to expand their businesses and were able to improve their quality of life, which solidified our reason for traveling here and providing micro loans. A very satisfying lunch followed the interviews, and from there we proceeded to take a tour of one of the local cathedrals. Many pictures and selfies followed since we were able to climb to the very top to get an assassin’s style view of the entire city. A prison tour and mythology lesson followed the cathedral. Tired and fatigued from a long day of walking in the scorching sun, we listened to bizarre, odd, and crazy tales of Nicaraguan mythology. Finally, Garret and I concluded our day with a romantic rooftop nighttime dinner, ice cream, and a water raid of the local grocery store (well I guess the rest of the group was there too).
Winter Break Day 2: Steven Miller