Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Charles in Charge


Carlos and Roca working on a rear-mounted bici-liquadora. This is really exciting to see happening finally.

For a while we, the volunteers, have wondered why somethings are as they are. Why, for instance, is there not a price list on parts? Why do the price tags that are on bikes for sale, not actually have a price on them? Why aren´t the volunteers allowed to complete sales?

It appears that there were a certain amount of inefficiencies built into the organization of Maya Pedal as the justification for an additional full time position. Its been a really good thing to be able to provide one more Guatemalan work, this is a very poor country and as many people as possible need work. And some pretty hefty innefficiencies in the organizational structure were what made that possible.

I hope that this doesn`t come across as anything against anyone at all. I completely understand why the organization would be run this way, the whole point of the place is to serve this country and the existence of one more job was doing that. However, i also understand the Board of Directors position on the matter. The changing of the world economic gaurd, from bull to ravenous bear, altered this efficiency equation. And so the position of Administrative Secretary no longer exists.

But don´t worry Johana had a new job well before her postion was termintated, and she´s doing quite well and seems pretty happy about the switch.

We had a very nice going away party for Johana, with a creamy cake (similar but much better than the previous one i´d tried) and a native food- meat and sauce boild inside of a corn meal wrapped in a corn husk- i know the name, but i cant think of it, its something really obvious... any way, everyone had very nice things to say, we all laughed and ate a lot, except for the vegan at the table who couldn´t eat any of it.

I had fun keeping Anjie, Johana´s little girl, and myself amused by playing silly games and giving each other presents like the bone she was chewing on, or Erins rose from valentines day. I´ll miss that little girl, shes a real character.

All of this put Carlos squarely in charge. And there was a strange bittersweetness to the change. We no longer had Johana`s smiling face and cute little munchkin, but suddenly a lot of things that needed to be streamlined could be. And so on day one we began a massive overhaul of everything.

Purely from an organizational standpoint, it was exciting and satisfying to see everything coming together. Carlos knows exactly what has to be done in order for the organization to run more smoothly and profitably, and he set us on that path straight away.

We all hustled about simultaneously, Erin and Dory reorganizing the bike graveyard on the roof, Roca and Erica sorting through and pricing every part in the part room. Anneliese and i getting bikes fixed up and ready for sale. Everyone was feeling really buzzed by all the good changes happening, especially the rapidity with which they were rolled out.

A much, much, better organized pile of bikes.

Things separated by type, and subtype and clearly labeled in english and spanish with their names and prices (all previously unavailable).

I pulled out this parts poster, previously hiding in the parts room behind a shelf where no once could see it, and hung it loud and clear. I didn´t ask Carlos, i didn´t need to- it just made sense to have it out where it could actually be used. And that´s the name of the game now. Its wonderful that the organization is able to pull things together and move in an exciting direction- its just too bad that it had to come at the expense of a career.

While we were working a horse somehow got stuck underneath this truck, it painfully forced its way out. I wish there was something we could have done.

We used the blender for lunch that day- spaghetti sauce, an other delicous concotion of Erin´s (she goes way out of her way to amke sure everyone knows that vegan food can taste amazingly good)

And randomly, a drawing that Johana asked me to do. Its a logo for her new job, if you cant see (sorry) its an open book in front of the world with a computer image on the page, there is a torch and dove centrally featured on top of it all. Not really sure what its all about, but supposedly the symbolism is pretty typical of the area- Catholic someone said.

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