My name is Blake Reynolds, and for the next few weeks I will be travelling to Malawi as part of the Canadian Co-operative Association's Management Coaching Program!

Thanks for stopping by as I prepare for, travel to, experience and finally bid farewell to the 'Warm Heart of Africa'!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Malawi Memories

It was a looong day Friday, flying from Malawi to South Africa to London early Saturday morning.  We rested a bit, and set out on Saturday to enjoy a walk around a bit of London on what was for some of us our only “free day” before our Sunday debrief and our flight home Monday.

Though we were all beginning to set shift our thoughts towards heading home, it was a great experience to sit with the groups from Ghana and Uganda as well as we six from Malawi and hear a bit about their own experiences in comparison to our own.  The funny thing is it may have been an opportunity to help in some way in Africa that intrigued me, but I feel I have a much better understanding…and appreciation…of the vital role that Credit Unions/SACCOs play in the economic development of developing nations, and the importance of the CCA’s role in that development.  Without SACCOs, the majority of the population in these areas do not have the means to save their money or get access to loans.  SACCOs provide a way for the people of a community or workplace to truly look beyond today and own their own future.  It feels good looking back and knowing I helped contribute to that.
The process of collecting my thoughts, and moulding my pictures and experiences into meaningful stories can be a challenge, but is one I accept wholeheartedly. Life goes on both here and there, and part of me is as glad to get back to my role as Husband and Dad as much as part of me keeps thinking back to what I have just taken part in.
I’ll be updating my blog as I share my experiences throughout the year, and as I prepare for the return trip this time in 2012.  I really appreciate you following along and allowing me to share my journey with all of you.  Please be sure to check out some of the other great blogs by some of the other coaches as well!
As I get back to work here at OMISTA Credit Union, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have visited the warm heart of Africa, to have experienced some the wonderful sights and sounds of Malawi, and to have met some many wonderful, inspirational people that I will always remember in the Warm Heart of Africa!
Until next time,

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