Stuart Krengel just returned from the 2013 Oikocredit Study Tour to Casamance, Senegal. Over the course of a week, he met Oikocredit staff and volunteers from all over the world, visited partners and connected with the end beneficiaries of Oikocredit's funds.
Its 6am and I am sitting in the Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, France. After 10 full days of travel in Senegal it is time to go home. A tearful goodbye was accompanied by our departure from the hotel. Some of us were staying behind to continue the adventure, and for some of us it was time to return to our respective homes. As I reflect at this early hour, I have come to the conclusion that Senegal is a special country. It makes sense that Oikocredit is operating there.
I feel very blessed to have been part of this trip. Personally and professionally I am rejuvenated. Microfinance professionals often times are separated from the work that happens “on the ground”. Most of the year, I sit behind a desk or stand behind a pulpit tens of thousands of miles away from the stories of impact that investor dollars create. This is just the nature of my job. I need to be here and people like Sambou Coly, our Senegal Director, need to be there. However, when I get the privilege to connect with my Oikocredit colleagues half way around the world, magic happens.
So with that said, I have to thank all of you that have been following my trip via this blog, Twitter and Facebook. It means so much to all us at Oikocredit USA that you care about our efforts to connect investors to the work we do. As I mentioned before it is hard to be here in the US and make an investment in work that happens so far away. Thank you for letting me be your eyes, ears and hands on this journey. I hope that at least I gave you insight into why investing in Oikocredit is truly special.
“Terenga” is a word that describes the hospitality that exudes from the Senegalese people. Now that I have experienced Terenga wholeheartedly, I invite you let me bring Terenga to you! I encourage you to contact me and book a speaking engagement. My Sundays are filling up fast, so please get in touch soon. Also if you just want to meet one-on-one I would be happy to travel to you if need be.
The offer is now on the table, I hope you take advantage of it. Again thank you for your attention and enthusiasm.
Regional Business Development Associate