At 7:45am, Leonel the taxi driver gave a honk in front of the house to let me know that he had arrived. I grabbed my bag and jumped in the backseat. We sped through the city streets this early Sunday morning, whizzing past bottlenecks that usually deterred us during the week. Upon arriving at work, a man quickly tried to grab my backpack, but thankfully it was only Javier. We yelled in the building to wake up the guard so he would let us in. As we arrived in our office, we realized that there was no electricity. You never know what will happen in a developing country. Slowly all the members of the team arrived and we began our meeting. The main reason why I had wanted to meet was so we could further define what the purpose of the new cooperative would be. During Friday’s meeting at the Association of Honduran Maquilas, the team had given the impression that the cooperative was a single company and I found this to be contrary to many of the plans that we had put in place, so there was obviously still some confusion. Although there were some intense moments of discussion, everyone felt better after we finished, as the road forward was much clearer.
After the meeting, we continued to work in the individual businesses over lunch. We all sat at separate tables and people would come up to me to ask questions about doubts they had about the business plan process. Probably one of the most exciting moments happened as I was listening to the discussion at one of the nearby tables. One of the staunchest critics to the business plan process was suddenly telling a new member of the team how important it was for him to create a business plan for his company. For me, that one sentence reinforced the fact that I was getting through to the team. I will certainly walk away from this experience having learned a lot from the team, but I am thankful that they, too, have learned a lot from me.