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All about microfinance

all about microfinance

We have arrived at the end of the second week of the mission for Exchangevzw and BNP Paribas Benevolab. It is today that I have to present the conclusions of my findings. A short version of the strategic plan. Yesterday morning I had prepared the presentation before going to Rutsereco. It was showtime !

Last night I had gone to bed way to late as I was talking to a hotel guest about the genocide. He told me how his entire family was killed. (I will dedicate a post to his story.) So when I woke up this morning, I was tired. I rushed to get perfectly dressed, heels and makeup. We were back on Day 1, power dressing was necessary. The board of administration would be present and Jean Pierre, a representative of AMIR (Association of Microfinance Agencies in Rwanda). The meeting was scheduled for 8 o'clock. I ran out the Centre D'Acceuille with my heels on, up the hill trying to catch a taxibus. I was sweating before I got in. I was scared to be late but the matatu God’s are on my side. No one got in on the way and I arrived at 7:15. Numerien wasn’t there yet. Yes! I beat him again. At 7:45 he arrives and tells me: ‘you are a morning person’! This time he meant it! He asked me to prepare for the meeting because it has moved to 9 o'clock. I thought to myself Ohhh nooo! 9:15 Nobody there. Numerien said that the President of the tea Union had given permission that I could start. The manager of the Pfunda tea cooperative joins in, the manager of the microfinance agency joins in as well and we start. Surprisingly I had no stress. The entire plan and its French words were imprinted in my head. The words roll down my tongue. Augustin joins in and Jean Pierre from AMIR arrives. I am on a roll! At the end of the presentation it was suggestion and question time. Jean Pierre gave us really good suggestions in setting up the microfinance for tea farmers branch. The head of Pfunda Cooperative wanted me as a consultant to draft him a strategic plan too. I received farewell gifts and we headed out for drinks.

Jean Pierre had a vehicle with driver and without thinking I opt for that vehicle. My time with taxibus had come to an end. We arrive at a motel and order drinks. It’s not even 12 and the Mutzig starts flowing. Mutzig beer with lemon Fanta. That’s a first. I discuss with Jean Pierre intensely BNP Paribas relations and the end of the mission. Jean Pierre left for Kigali while we continued my farewell lunch. Brochettes with French fries. My favorite. Nausicaa had advised me not to eat grilled anymore but I couldn’t resist. This time it was not organs, at least that’s what I think.

I say my goodbye’s and inform them that they will receive the final strategic plan in 2 weeks. I will adapt it according to the new suggestions and the information from AMIR. I am included in the strategic plan and will have a lot of following up to do. Hence, I receive the title in their organization as Business Development

Consultant for the Tea Farmers Union of Crete Congo Nil. My work here isn’t done.

I thank them for the lovely gifts. They apologized they couldn’t find any tea from Pfunda. Green leaves only. It’s hard to find the local tea, everything is for export and Rwandans don’t drink tea. It’s no problem for me, I have learned a lot of new things on this mission and will stay on board.

One last time in the taxibus to get my stuff at the Centre and a last meeting with RIM. Reseaux Microfinance. The meeting was short but I arranged for a second one.

Finally at the Centre, I pack my bags and can’t believe the amount of stuff. I have given away so much already and yet the number of bags seem to grow. Is it the gifts. I don’t know. While I was packing my stuff, I notice all of a sudden troops of mini roaches crawling from under the mattress! I thought to myself; this is the final straw, I got to go. I woke up this morning with an entire body full of bites. I have no one to blame but myself. I have an impregnated fitted sheet for mattresses. I had removed it to go to Rutsereco and when I returned to Gisenyi, I was too lazy to put it back. No one else but Francine to blame.

With a butt full of bites, Numerien and I, each with a suitcase in the hand + 2 purses and 2 backpacks walk down to the Serena at the Kivu Lake. The hotel is 5 minutes walking distance from the centre. Numerien was acting strange because his request for a small mortgage was refused for the second time in the Bank of Kigali. He was stressed all of a sudden. I felt bad and tried to give him some advice. We ran into the special representative for sanitation of the district, a native of the tea fields. He advised me to include day cares into strategic plan of the union. Why didn’t I think of it myself. Perfect! More work!

Arriving at the Serena Hotel, a resort looking type of hotel, Numerien gets anxious. He doesn’t want to come inside. He said the hotel is too expensive. I said I want to buy him a drink. We give my stuff to the butlers, whom X-ray all the bags. Tight security in this hotel which is actually not needed in Rwanda. We immediately receive hot towels and drinks. I want to go to my roommmmm…. Numerien is nervous. He doesn’t like the setting. I told him someone had hooked me up with the room for free. I didn’t want him to know I was paying these prices because he would have dragged me out. Lol

Finally in the room. wow I forgot about tv’s, a bath, ohhhh A/C my true love. I never appreciated luxury as much as today! I have normal wifi- no more 45 minutes per upload! We are so spoiled and I am grateful. I need a mission like this every year.

I am ordering room service, paying 15 USD for a well deserved glass of wine.

Let my 1 week of holiday begin !

Category: Payday loans

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