Internship OVER, Traveling ROCKS

My internship with Pro Mujer ended a couple weeks ago and I accomplish more than I originally envisioned  I could in such a short time.  In the last two weeks I traveled through parts of Bolivia and Argentina.  Currently I’m traveling in Brazil and I fly back to the States in under two weeks.

5 Topics:

1. Pro Mujer

2. Microfinance Corner

3. Travels (Uyuni, Potosi, Tarija, Salta, Iguazu)

4. Food

5. Home

_____________________________________________

1. My last few weeks at Pro Mujer were extremely busy.  I submitted my grant proposal and WON.  The project budget has been fully funded by the grant competition, Sustainable Bolivia, Foundation for Sustainable Bolivia and the funding received from some of you (thanks again to everyone that contributed).  Prior to my departure an excellent team was assembled for the implementation phase of the project.  The Regional Director and members from the national office were impressed with the initial planning, fundraising, and current implementation of the project and I have received periodic updates informing me that implementation is being executed to plan.  If you are curious to know more about the project I will happily send along additional details.

2. Microfinance Corner IV(read MFC I-III from previous blogs) – The idea of social business should be reevaluated in response to the increased attention non-profit microfinance has received in recent years as a solution to poverty.  I am an avid proponent of free markets with reasonable regulations therefore companies created with social goals (poverty reduction, rights empowerment, environmental protection, etc.) should not be limited to a single bottom-line – social good.  Actual profitability is frowned upon by many such as Mohammad Yunus who has an immense impact on general notions of “social business” to the public.  MFIs as well as other social corporations should have the right to collect profits thereby attracting greater talent and investment to their respective social goal(s).  Capitalism has clearly shown its shortfalls yet exclusion of the most dyer social challengers from a capitalist, public-private partnership will ultimately keep the most relevant global challenges under the rug.

3. The last few weeks of traveling has been amazing – see below pictures of various stops along my way to Brasil:

A. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia – largest salt flats in the world – also, 60% of the world’s known lithium reserve is under the flats.

Largest salt flat in the world

Largest salt flat in the world

You can play cards anywhere in the world!

You can play cards anywhere in the world!

You can also throw up the Longhorn anywhere in the world.

You can also throw up the Longhorn anywhere in the world.

B. Potosi, Bolivia – highest city in the world – Potosi mountain funded much of the Spanish kingdom for two centuries with the mountain’s massive silver reserves that are stilled being mined to this day 

Town Center

Town Center

Beautifical Facade

Beautifical Facade

One of the most historic mountains in the world

One of the most historic mountains in the world

Interviewing for a mining job?

Interviewing for a mining job?

Crawling through the mines of the mountain that has been mined for centuries

Crawling through the mines of the mountain that has been mined for centuries

Holding LIT dynamite - the "bang" was insane

Holding LIT dynamite - the "bang" was insane

C. Tarija, Bolivia – beautiful small wine town in Bolivia – highest vineyards in the world

Random building I liked

Random building I liked

Church

Church

Highest vineyard in the world. You really can play cards anywhere in the world!

Highest vineyard in the world. You really can play cards anywhere in the world!

D. Salta, Argentina – cool city in northwest Argentina – I originally came here in 2007 to bungeejump and paraglide

General Guemes

General Guemes

Interesting Architecture

Interesting Architecture

Fountains a the city lookout atop a nearby hill

Fountains a the city lookout atop a nearby hill

Convent

Convent

E. Iguazu Falls, Argentina – the most impressive waterfalls in the world

Side falls

Side falls

In case you needed reminder, "Don't Jump!"

In case you needed reminder, "Don't Jump!"

Throat of the Devil

Throat of the Devil

From my hotel room

From my hotel room

Absolutely gorgeous

Absolutely gorgeous

"I'm on a boat!"

"I'm on a boat!"

The falls from one of the trails...

The falls from one of the trails...

Rainbow

Rainbow

Can't describe this place in words...

Can't describe this place in words...

4. Needless to say I miss food from the States a lot.  I can not wait to get home to eat Tex-Mex and BBQ.  Also, my mom’s food will taste heavenly the first day I get home.  Yet South America does have something to offer – I have had my fair share of steak these last few months – sorry to you vegetarians!

Fried Yuca in the background

Fried Yuca in the background

The steak is bigger than my head

The steak is bigger than my head

Bacon wrapped... mmm

Bacon wrapped... mmm

So tasty!

So tasty!

Mushrooms are good too.

Mushrooms are good too.

The rice and salad were eaten at the end.

The rice and salad were eaten at the end.

5. My five months in South America comes to an end in under two weeks and it will be bittersweet.  In my next post I will include pictures from my Brasil travels (Florianopolis, Curitiba, Sao Paulo, Ouro Preto, and Rio de Janeiero) and a reflection on my trip.   I look forward to catching up with old friends and family once I get home.

I would love to hear what you all are up to – shoot me an email with an update and I can also answer any questions you may have about my experiences in South America.

Until then, I’ll be on the beach 🙂

-Thomas

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5 Responses to “Internship OVER, Traveling ROCKS”

  1. Subin Says:

    I like.

  2. Sagar Says:

    I”m happy that you’re experience has been so awesome. I am also jealous, but I will live.

    Hopefully we’ll find a way to meet up soon!

  3. Annette Says:

    Of course the south america experiences are topping your european.
    Im happy that the slogan “Yes You Can” become true for you me dear international friend.
    What will happen in the next month?
    your curious german mum

  4. Sandhya Says:

    I’m so jealous of your adventures! The waterfall looks unreal.
    And you would be up-to-date on your popculture (i.e. “i’m on a boat”) even whilst out there!

    now, most importantly…when are you back and when do i get to see you???

  5. AJ Says:

    Looks like you had a great time. I would love to do something like this.

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