Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Day 3

Phrases of the day:

"Dar Papaya" - a very important Spanish phrase you need to know in Colombia. Literally "Give Papaya (the fruit Papaya)". Essentially it means do no expose yourself unnecessarily to thieves. Examples: Flashing your iPhone on the street, wearing excessive jewelry, etc.

"Annyong hasaeyo" - Korean phrase for greeting people in South Korea. You do not need to know this in Colombia, I can guarantee you that. So why did I write this? One of the best things about the Social Sabbatical assignment is you get to interact and learn from people from different countries, culture and background. The cool guy, Daniel Lee, taught me this phrase today. If I ever visit South Korea, this might come in handy.

Day 3. Early start again. We had to report at the lobby by 8:30. Made it to the lobby at 8:28 AM, hoping for a quick bite in the breakfast place. I met Mama Liza who introduced me to the Sales Manager of Nico Aparta and Suites. Had an extensive handshake (I would say close to 55 seconds) with the sales manager who was obviously very thankful for us staying in her hotel and said she would do anything to make us feel at home. I truly appreciated that! (Sorry I forgot her name). Liza then introduced me to something I was avoiding for the last 2 days at breakfast - a white flat bread. It's called Arepas, a typical Colombian breakfast flatbread made of corn and cheese. It was delicious!!

With Mama Liza and Rene. (Sorry for the bad quality picture).


Gerda, Michal and I took the cab to the PSF office - for the first time without a Spanish speaking person with us. Of course, we got ripped off! I mean, what did you expect? We had to pay 22,000 pesos whereas we only paid 10,000 pesos, when Tracey was with us the previous day! I'm convinced the cab driver had a good laugh with his friends after dropping us off. Why wouldn't he? He answered all our questions with "OKAY" and ripped us off at the same time! For example: Us: "how many zeros in veintidós mil?" Driver: "OKAY". 

We stopped by a small coffee shop next to the PSF building. Great cafe con leche for 1400 pesos or 47 US cents. We met with a new team member Liz who just arrived from France last night. Since the PSF door was locked, we had to wait around 10 minutes, until Diego showed up with a key. Gerda, Michal and I debriefed on the topics from yesterday and brainstormed on the topics to investigate as well as the needed improvements for Sembrando Confianza. Amy, Liza, Maia and Ulf stopped by at 11 AM, just to do a status check and be a "fly on the wall" (observe things). Tracey brought us some awesome brownies she baked just for us. Thank you, Tracey!

We broke for lunch at 1:30 PM (wow, we were hungry) and went to a vegetarian restaurant just because I had a bad experience yesterday. That was so nice of Amy, Gerda and Michal. Great food.

So lunch is the main meal of the day in Colombia. For around 13,000 Col. pesos (4 USD), you get a juice (typically: papaya, mango, lemonade, orange), salad, soup and an entree!

Unfortunately, I had a terrible nose bleed in the restaurant. I guess it's due to the altitude. Tracey did mention that she had a similar experience when she came to Bogota. Anyway, I recovered quickly.

Mercados visit: 
Our afternoon agenda was to visit the Mercados assembly office. Mercados literally means "Market". It is a basket of 100% organic fruits and vegetables sourced from local farmers and shipped to households in Bogota. Felix and Francios, interns from France helping with the Mercados project showed the different types of Mercados, various organic products, vegetables and some financial tools they use currently to support that project.


Spiced beans:

Seeds of Confidence -  New logo:



Fresh plums from the farm:

With Emma:

We had the opportunity to meet with Emma, the first producer ever for the PSF organization. This was our first experience meeting a local producer, and it was an incredible one! Emma is 65 years old and still working hard to produce healthy, organic, sustainable food for the Bogota community. In fact she carried a bag to the Mercados site, which I thought was close to 50 kilos, for an hour in the train in order to deliver the produce. She is extremely passionate about what she does and spoke for more than 20 minutes about why does what she does. She mentioned that Colombia is a very diverse and vibrant country and does not deserve to be in the situation that it is right now. We told her that we were glad to support her with her cause. She invited us to visit her farm and we gladly accepted.

Emma spoke Spanish at the rate of at least 300 words per second. Gerda and I were at least able to pick up on a few sentences.......... but our good friend Michal... hmm. that was a different story. Checkout the below video of Emma.

We got to taste fresh cherries and Colombian beans (spiced and with Chocolate). We checked out organic coffee which I will be buying a ton of. Overall, a great day with PSF!

Got back to the hotel by 5pm and did a quick "Start, Stop, Continue" reflection with Gerda and Michal. 6PM was the team meeting with all the teams, Ulf and Pyxera. We got the much needed Cerveza and were relieved ! Every team got to present what they did in the last 1.5 days, explain what they felt was challenging, what kind of help they needed from other teams, etc.

We went for dinner again at Crepes & Waffles. We said goodbye to Amy and Maia who are returning to the US tomorrow. Thank you Amy and Maia for everything!

Buenas Noches. 

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