Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Soccer, logic and lion's head

So as I have activated internet on my blackberry, which was thankfully sold to me unlocked by Sprint when I bought it a few years ago, I am able to email blog posts in on a more regular basis. I will probably need to format these posts once I get to a computer, but it'll do for now.

On Monday started with a trip back to Khayelitsha to have our first workshop with their youth leaders. After referring, and then assistant referring, two soccer games between the SEC interns and the youth leaders, we went inside to get down to business. Our group, Opportunity, is responsible for helping to create a "career wall" in the CTC-10 field office. This first meeting was to workshop ideas, from which careers to feature, to how the wall will look. It went surprisingly well and I'm looking forward to going back to build on our work Friday.

Yesterday, Tuesday, began with a meeting of the Bo Kaap Heritage Gateway (BKHG), a volunteer group seeking to find funding to make BKHG reach its full potential. The ideas are promising, and from my experience in these 10 odd days living in the community, I firmly believe the money would be used to achieve their goals...but perhaps I am now biased. Yesterday ended with a tour of the District 6 museum. District 6 was a primarily colored (as in not African or White) area known for its multicultural flavor. It was designated a whites only area but due to community protest, the area was razed in the early 70s. I truly felt for the story of the area, but the tour guide who spoke to us needed a lesson in political correctness. She railed on everyone from Mandela, to the Brits, to African Americans for thinking ourselves better than her people of colored origin. She also made ridiculous claims about the visible marks of slavery in American cities in the north...basically she had a lot of opinions that colored (pun intended) her facts. The museum itself was cool, a repurposed Methodist church, which itself had been a repurposed winery.

Today, Wednesday, we learned the Logic Model of evaluating business strategy. Basically you start with an outcome and then build a strategy around it so as to stay as true as possible to the original goal. However, the best part of the day was finally being able to hike up Lions Head, the little cousin of Table Mountain. What a hike it was! It started off easy on a inclined dirt road for about 15 minutes but then became a rocky path, which led to legit rock scaling, using ladders, hand holds and chains. It took the bulk of the group around 50 minutes to reach the top. A friend took a few pictures of me up there, one of which will become my new facebook profile picture soon. Coming down was scarier than coming up at first, but we all made it without incident. The night finished with dinner, some UEFA soccer (damnit Portugal) and now an early sleep. We're supposed to be on the road by 8am tomorrow morning so I need my sleep.

Ok, with that I bid you good night from Bo Kaap, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa, Africa, Earth. As always, thanks for reading!

Sent from my BlackBerry

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Friday, June 1, 2012

On the road

So we're on I-95 South currently about an hour away from Dulles. We already had a traffic snag an hour ago and I can't wait to see what happens when we get closer to DC. I am so glad that our van departure time changed to 11am from 1pm...that would have been cutting it too close. Okay I'm going to end this brief update here...I'll try to bang out a longer post after we check in.

Thanks for reading!

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Creator will be among us...

...apologies to the religious minded but I am not talking about God, although I suspect some people in rural villages in Guatemala, Ecuador or South Africa might say he is. I am talking about Greg Van Kirk, the man who created SEC and whose 2 minute video on microconsignment I posted last week. Mr. Van Kirk is coming to class today for the 9:30am-Noon portion.

What will he talk about?

What is he expecting of us?

What should we ask him?

Should we ask him anything?

Should we kiss the ground he walks on?

Of course that last one was a joke, but Professor Dicklitch swears he will win a Nobel Peace Prize one I may not have been joking as much as I intended to.

On another note, SWOT analysis was finally broken down for us yesterday by BOS (Business, Organizations and Society) Professor, and newly endowed chair, Trex Proffitt. Essentially it stands for Stengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and it is the tool that we are to use to evaluate the work being done on the ground in South well as out own Lancaster based business plans that we will have to complete upon our return. (I'll go into more detail about the Lancaster based business plan in a later post.) Finally though, I feel that I am theoretically fully prepared to attempt the task that SEC and F&M have laid out for us. No, I do not think that I am an experr by any stretch of the imagination...but I feel that I am better able to futz my way through this now.

Ok, I need to finishing up a reading for class, but as always, thanks for reading!


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