Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Sorry for the lengthy blog absence. I know it has left a profound hole in your daily routine not to have new info from me.
Last week we had the US Board of Directors as well as the President of FHI here in Peru. But before I talk about that I am realizing that the structure of Food for the Hungry is probably a bit complicated and worthy of a brief explanation.
Food for the Hungry(FH) is a partnership of several different semi-independent NGOs (Non-profits). There are 5 main funding organizations that raise the funds for the programs that are done in countries like Peru. They are: FH USA, JIFH (Japan), Canada, KFH (Korea), and FH England. These organizations are responsible for raising the funds and managing the donors (such as Child Sponsors). So when you go to www.fh.org you are visiting the website of FHUSA of which Ben Holman is the president and is headquartered in phoenix. Food for the Hungry International (FHI) is the NGO that actually does all the relief and development work. Randy Hoag is the president and FHI is headquartered in Bangkok Thailand.
So, Randy Hoag (President of FHI), Ben Holman (President of FHUSA), and the FHUSA board of directors came to Peru. I was able to go upriver with this group to one of the communities we work with there. I am going to hold off describing the community until I get back from spending a week there in early July. The visit of this group went pretty well overall I think. Unfortunately _IN LIMA_ the taxi of one of the board members was attacked by a thief who broke the window and tried to grab the bag of his wife. He then proceeded to help her hold the bag and resist the thief. But the thief pulled a knife and cut his arm and he had to go to the hospital for stitches. This is really sad for the Peruvian staff because they love their country and know that what this board member will remember is the attack. Unfortunately this is the reality of Lima. Hopefully some day this will change.
My teaching is going well. We are in the middle of teaching Microsoft Word. I am enjoying it because I am seeing real progress in many of the students. They started class literally never having used a computer and are now able to get around OK on it.
I have been asked about the demographic makeup of the class. A little over half the students are between 18-24. The remaining are adults. Each class has 16 students because we only currently have 8 computers (7 now as one of them broke) and having more then 2 students to a computer does not give them enough time on the machine. Some of the students are physically handicapped as well (maybe 1/4th of each class)
That is all for now, but I will really try to write more often. The first team with computers is arriving today in Lima. Hopefully they will make it through customs...
UPDATE: It was Peter Howard who was robbed in Lima, not Marty. I posted an email from him up above.