Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dominican Republic Trip Part 3

Most of the people and businesses we were going to see were not in the same community. So, we did a lot of driving and it was great to see the countryside and some small towns and get a glimpse of life in the DR. Sugar cane production was everywhere and we drove by several baseball fields with games going on. Baseball is huge in the DR. Every little boy’s dream is to play in the major leagues in the States.

Admittedly, part of the fun was the conversations we had in the van while driving to our destinations. To give you an idea, here’s a brief list of every one on the trip’s job: 2 HOPE employees (microfinance experts extraordinaire! That’s for you, Chris), 2 Dominican Esperanza employees, a software engineer, a marketing director, an entrepreneur/YWAM guy, an equities investor, a student, and us. So we had discussions ranging from microfinance (since obviously we had that interest in common) to business development, personal lives/loves, cattle farming (we saw a lot of cattle in the DR and one guy had a ranch in TX), meat cuts (a lot of us like meat), etcetera. It was fun learning about each person and coming away from the trip learning from and really blessed by each and every one. Ah, the body of Christ.

Another entrepreneur/loan recipient was a man by the name of Jose. We knew when we had arrived because there were red wheelbarrows lining the street. He makes the best wheelbarrows around. Self proclaimed, but totally confident to stand behind his quality product! He was awesome. He showed us his work space and the tools he had been able to purchase with his loan. Capital is very hard to come by in third world countries, so when entrepreneurs like Jose can get access to funds to develop his business, the results are amazing. He also has been able to hire a few employees to help him build.

We asked if he waited for wheelbarrow orders to come in or if he sold them “retail” (so to speak) and he said he just continually makes them and they continually sell- orders or bulk or individual sales. He is a father of two little girls, and is in the process of building an upstairs for his family to live in (they currently live in a small room with dirt floors). When we asked him how the loan had impacted him, he of course told us all about his business and how he had been able to expand. But he also explained a bit of how the Lord has changed his life- he and his wife had been separated and he was learning how to make his marriage more of a priority in his life.

<< See DR Trip Part 2

>> See DR Trip Part 4

1 comment:

Chris Horst said...

....a microfinance expert? That's so far from the truth. But, thanks for the shout out!