Thursday, October 8, 2015

Day 5

Diego Cardenas
Diego is the program director of "Training and Installation" of Sembrando Confianza. In this program, PSF does a wide variety of things: from growing vegetable gardens in poor neighborhoods in order to make the community self-sustainable, to installing organic gardens in high income private schools. Diego is truly inspirational! He is 30 years old, super-motivated individual who loves to help the poor people in the community. He LOVES what he does and is so down to earth!! During the walk in the neighborhood yesterday, we realized that he personally knew most of the people in the community. We got the feeling that he offered the people a shoulder to cry on and express their concerns about everything. Yesterday, he took us on a garden visit in the morning. He answered all our consulting questions in the produce growing facility in the afternoon. Immediately after that he got down to working in the garden - planting seedings, digging up the soil and watering the plants. He did all this with a smile on his face. Today, he was at the PSF office, giving us requirements, tailoring our scope of work and in general sharing his main painpoints - KPIs, Financial budgeting & forecasting tools, etc.We are proud to be working with such a person, to be supporting him in his mission!


He doesn't like Football though :-|.

Day 5. 8 AM again at the lobby. By now, my body is getting used to the 4 hour sleep cycle. We visited a heavily fortified French school in the location where most of the foreign embassies are located in Bogota. Inside the school, we met with Manon and Luis (French interns helping with Training) next to a garden created by PSF. They brought their class of students - kids between the ages of 5-6 years - to the garden. We saw the kids plant the seedlings and water them. What a rewarding experience for the children to see the seedlings they planted grow into fully developed plants with vegetables like Cabbage, Cauliflower, Carrots, etc. The vegetables are either given to the kids to take home or cooked in the school cafeteria and fed to the kids.

Some cool paintings in the school:

After asking Manon and Tracey some process related questions and providing a few recommendations, we wrapped up our visit. We then drove to the PSF office. We spent a couple of hours refining our scope of work and discussing our execution strategy. Sindy Pinzon and Theo Demophile came into the room with the prototype jackets from the Comparte Creaciones.
We checked out the jackets (a bit too tight for me :) ), and felt they were good quality rain coats. We helped PSF with some recommendations for the logo and some additional design improvements. We actually helped them with Branding! Wow I had never realized the creative side of me!

We went to a Mexican restaurant for Lunch. This was a fast food kind of restaurant.

Since we were 7 of us, they offered us to sit in the basement. The basement had no windows. It had a small bar area, small stools and small round tables. It had a guitar, Sombreros (Mexican hats) and some empty Mexican liquor bottles on the wall. There were colorful papers hanging from the ceiling. The words "Viva Mexico" were pasted all over and Mexican flags hanging on the walls. It was an interesting ambiance.

Tamarind juice.  

The funniest part was a juke box and tv in the middle of the room. The TV was turned on and the channel was playing a show with nudity (let's leave it at that). Remember this was mid day and I was told it was a mainstream tv channel! Worse, we couldn't change the channel. Even worse, poor Sindy lost 200 pesos in the JukeBox because it accepted the money but wouldn't play any songs.

Zoomed in for your convenience. (Theo in the foreground enjoying the tamarind drink):

The lunch was delicious - one of the best burritos I have ever had.

After lunch we did some modeling for the prototype jackets. I was the photographer. Sindy, Michal and Gerda were the models. Our Social Sabbatical experience is certainly extending our frontiers of knowledge!

We had a team meeting with the entire PSF team (minus Juan) at 3PM. We explained our overall scope of work and fielded a few questions from Diego, Sindy and Julias (German intern).

We returned to the hotel at around 6:30 PM and found a few Bogota Orchids sitting in the lobby. After a quick chat with them, we went straight to the hotel meeting room to finalize the scope of work. Ulf Brackmann, our dear mentor, brought us some much needed cervezas. He then sat down with us and gave us some good tips to further refine our SOW. By now it was 7:30 PM and we sent out the SOW to the Pyxera Global team for their approval.

A major milestone achieved! We realized that we only have around 10 working days to deliver the things we promised. Next 2 weeks are going to be very interesting!

Totally exhausted now and ready to get some sleep!

Noches Noches! (Is that a correct Spanish expression? I'm not sure, will confirm tomorrow).

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