I’ve started work at my partner institution, a Microfinance community bank in my small town. There are 4 employees and me; the bank director, the accountant, the cashier and the security guard. I am there as a consultant looking for ways to improve the bank, make it more efficient and help it grow.


The first day I spent the whole day in the lobby just watching the people that came in taking notes down every 15-20 minutes. It was interesting just to see when it’s busy, when it’s not, and what kind of people come in.


Near the end of the day, the director showed me the room I can use as my office, which also doubles as the meeting room for the board of directors of the bank. It sounds glamorous but it’s just a small room with a window, a desk and some chairs. The window looks out to the gare routiere* and the building in which I live. I put my bag down on the desk and looked out the window at my building for my next two years. Being here was becoming more real now. But I felt pretty happy to have my first office ever, even if it’s not much bigger than my cubicle back in the US and it looks out to my house.


I’m going to just sit and watch the first week, and meet with each person individually at some point to try to get a good grasp of what they do on a day to day basis as well as follow each person for a couple of hours. Right now, I’m spending most of the time in my office studying French and reading Madeline Albright’s autobiography.


*gare routiere or gare as it’s usually referred to is the place where Taxi’s park to take you to the various other villages. I live RIGHT on it.
my office

my office.

view from office

This is the view from my office. I live in the white building, in th bottom which can’t actually be seen.