Month: December 2009

Beard Difficulties

In my previous life, I worked at a job that made growing a beard difficult.  Every time I’d let it grow on vacation, I’d get close to an acceptable length, but still below the threshold of respectability.   Naturally, when I…

25 Years and Counting

In August of this year, Negros Women For Tomorrow celebrated its 25th anniversary.  The organization commemorated the occasion with an extravagant party titled “Handum” (Dream) with 6,000 attendees, including staff, borrowers, partners, and a pre-recorded message from the godfather of…

Mr. Inasal and Me

The food in the Philippines garners mixed reviews from expats, but, as with most things, they might not be eating the right things.   Beef is harder to come by here, and usually much more expensive.  Fish, white meat (chicken), and…

Vacation

I am heading to Vietnam until December 23rd, and Cambodia until January 4th.  I am going to try to update the blog as much as I can during the break.  See you in 2010.

Yunus v. Compartamos

The following is an article I wrote for The Inductive. Within the international development community, a debate for the heart of the movement recently came to the fore with the IPO of Compartamos, the largest microfinance institution in Mexico.  Divisive…

Dancing for Filipinos

In the Philippines, or maybe just here in Bacolod City, people enjoy celebrations.  Bacolod is called the City of Smiles and is known for its annual MassKara Festival held in October.  The tradition began in 1980, in response to a…

The Galvez Family, Pt. 1

Success in microfinance is difficult to measure because progress occurs incrementally and may take a generation or more to manifest.   Usually, the benefits of microfinance – improvements in healthcare, education, and quality of life – are only visible over a…

In The Field

I spent the last three days in “the field,” a term used to describe the front lines of microfinance where the money is distributed to the clients of the banks.  Beginning early Tuesday morning, I set out for the town…

Organized Chaos

Here in Bacolod City, and the rest of the Philippines for that matter, traffic laws are non-existent.  There seem to be no rules governing how you act behind the wheel – only that the horn is your friend, and is…