Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 2

With their noses to the grindstone, the alumni started working their tail-ends off on day two. We had the entire day to meet with stakeholders, eat lunch with the community, and finally get our feet wet.

The workshop was a smash success:

We arrived with little time to spare but few from the community beat us there. Robin, Deanna, Kathryn, and Alison helped set up the corn sheller while Brooke, Vikki, Shahla and Anna planned for the nutrition workshop.

Robin said kids are awesome and corn shellers are cool, but she doesn´t know a thing about them and spanish speakers should be doing the bulk talking. So we did. Robin squat down next to the community members and communicated the best she could. Hammers were swinging and the hands did the talking. Below you can see

Here, all the women are trying out the new cornshellers that they´ve made.

Here you can see the de-kerneling happening before your eyes.

The turn out seemed small at first but then as the day progressed, the corn sheller materials got snatched up. In particular, a corn sheller designed in another part of the world was much clamored after. ¨I have a cousin who is a metal worker. I´d like to show this to him so he can make more, better.¨ It was the highlight of Alison´s trip, I think. Then the nutrition workshop with professor Shahla in the picture below. She gave everyone a quick talk about balanced meals and opened up the floor for whatever questions the community had concerning nutrition. There were questions about salt, what kid´s should eat, etc. And Shahla fielded them all expertly. And in the end it turned out to be just right because all the food was gone and everyone ate contentedly.

Deanna(left) fled the scene to work with Judy (right) and Elias (middle) concerning the promotional brochures. A nice twist of a career spun her from mechanical engineer, systems thinker to designer. She´s talented. Like seriously. They talked about the details and the technicalities of the cooperative and chocolate-making process. The results have been good so far, but just you wait in September when things really get rolling. The post-trip relationship that has resulted has yet to fully bud, but I expect full bloom once emails begin to fly.

Erika, Joe, Dick, and Roberta headed straight for the office and hung up a big piece of paper and began mapping out the business of Kallari. After a meeting with Carlos and Leonor, they were able to really start revving their planning engines. Then they spoke with Judy to get finer details about the cooperative (time that Carlos just didn´t have) and the markets in the United States.

Then the alumni split up. Some began to clean up the workshop space while the Tourism Planning group went on a short tour with Kallari to meet some farmers and havea jolly time in the Rainforest amongst all the cacao plants.

Here, you can see that Nick from Global Adrenaline has fancied himself a tree-climbing device and harvested a yucca root. The smile says everything.

Here, Anna tries it out. Looks more like she´s brute forcing up that tree, but you can see the fibers around her feet!

And finally, our community tour guide.

The day was full, and we retired to our Cabañas in the deep woods with the large insects and abundance of tarantulas in the bathrooms. And when we arrived, we laughed and drank some wine. And the night passed pleasantly.

Except for Roberta who had ¨friendly baby monkeys playing on her roof.¨ Well, they were bats actually.