Moving forward with Construyendo Sueños

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve written, and no surprise: Things have been so busy here in Juárez that it has been hard to find the time. But now that I’m enjoying a very welcome three-day weekend, I have a nice opportunity to post an update.

Right now, the main thing I’m doing is participating in a series of trainings put on by the organization that is one of our funders. The trainings are challenging, since they are in Spanish and cover many things I don’t know much (or anything) about, like Mexican laws regarding the treatment of adolescents and how to prepare financial reports for our funders. Quite a learning curve.

And I have to say it: PowerPoint is a curse. 🙁 How I dream of having actual handouts I can take home and read at my leisure, but it’s a PowerPoint world now. And in my opinion, few people how to use it properly. All too many slides are filled with massive amounts of microscopic text that isn’t even referred to by the speaker. And now, without further ado, I present for your viewing pleasure my nominee for the worst PowerPoint slide ever:

There is actually text in those circles if you look really closely, but it looks to me like an illustration of a hydrogen atom. And one more thing, beyond the horrors of PowerPoint: If I have to endure one more group brainstorming exercise in an echoey room full of loud and lightning-fast Spanish speakers all talking at the same time, my head will explode.

Okay, rant over. 🙂 In spite of all that, I’ve actually learned a lot. Here are a couple more training pictures :

Meanwhile, outside of the training, we’re getting ready for the official beginning of the project in July. Among other things, we’re preparing the new Construyendo Sueños office (unfortunately, no feng shui experience here), ordering supplies, creating protocols for things like security (no small matter in the infamous Ciudad Juárez), and putting together one of those financial reports I mentioned. It is a very full plate. But we still have time for fun activities, like my colleague Aurora’s birthday celebration (notice who is taking another picture in the background):

On Friday, there was an event at the funder’s headquarters that was called a “symbolic delivery of resources.” In other words, the funders were handing out those big checks like the ones you see for the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. The press and plenty of bigwigs were there, and to my surprise, they put me in the front row sitting next to a representative from the US Consulate: a nice woman named Lauri, who gave a fine speech:

No, no speech for me. But I did get something nice out of the event. I’ll try not to spend it all in one place:

4 Replies to “Moving forward with Construyendo Sueños”

  1. Wow! Pretty challenging in the learning curve. How is your Espanol holding up overall? Definitely moving forward. Great!

    I was looking in your picture if there was a Mexican equivalent to Ed McMahon handing you the check but didn’t see him.

  2. It all sounds incredibly challenging to me, Greg. If it were me….. Well I am glad it isn’t. However, they must understand that your Spanish is challenged by their less than optimal presentations for the Spanish newbie. I am even intimidated by how long Spanish words seem to be. The important thing is you are still learning lots, and living in faith. So, I guess, it is just fine. Lucky you have a Friend with you. Thank you for this very communicative post, which demonstrates beyond any doubt how much faith you are accessing.

  3. Greg, I think this whole thing is awesome! Imagine, ten years ago this was not in your awareness -speaking Spanish, working with adolescents, being stretched, etc, etc. Seems to me you are being guided by One who knows you and can use your abilities right where you are. Sending you love and good vibes from B.C., Canada.

  4. Just seeing this now, Greg. Been away on a remote camping trip for two weeks. Wow!! You are really in the thick of things. Like Julie said, your skills and abilities are being utilized by one who knows how to shape your function so it is the most beneficial to all concerned. Good for you. You are truly an inspiration. Love you.

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