Stayed warm last night and wake to fireplace embers still glowing. I slept in fits and starts and know I will adapt to the night music of dogs and birds and hippos. The hippos walk around at night and the pack of dogs up at the orphanage up the hill go crazy. Not just the annoying neighbor dog kind of bark, but a full baying of the hounds that rolls on in wave after wave and then dies down only to start up again.
I can hear the constant rush of the falls from my balcony but I can’t see it for the tropical trees.
Molly told me this place was remote, but I thought of remote with a Western mind – this is remote with a capital “R.” I have been to remote places – but this is a far, far away place. Remote, yet scraping by, even thriving, in its own way.
Off to prep for my Day 1 class that starts in 1.5 hours.
Class Break – Midmorning
We are working in a barn, or perhaps a converted shed – stone walls, rustic vintage parquet floors – so it must have been a living space at some point. Our projection screen is a bedsheet nailed to the wall. It is all completely workable – just not the conference room you think of in the US.
Today’s theme lyric:
“Who cares about strangers and social injustice….”
Today we met 20 entrepreneurs who have already been in class for two weeks. These 20 were picked from the countless applicants that wanted to get in. We broke off into groups and I worked with Naomi, Charity and Kariuki to determine what challenges they had in their businesses and how we can address that.
Sondra, who is teaching today, assigns Kariuki as our group leader and I was the outside consultant – so I could help where needed, but not to be the superhero solver. Sondra made it clear that collectively the entrepreneurs can solve anything and should work together to resolve any issues they face.
The top issues for our group were collections, staffing and infrastructure like power outages and passable roads. Charity’s internet cafe can be closed for days due to internet outages and there is no other internet service she can move to and none arriving for 6 months. Luckily she is the only internet provider for miles so she has no immediate competitors. What would you suggest she do to stop losing money on those days? Chime in with your votes. Tomorrow we visit the entrepreneurs at their businesses – should be another eye opener.