Welcome home, eh? / Bienvenue au bercail

Back at the BDC Kitchener office!

Back at the BDC Kitchener office!

La version française suit l’anglais

Hello, world!!!

I’m getting back into the swing of things here at the BDC Kitchener office after my international development project in Guyana, which ended in March…With summer around the corner, I’m taking this opportunity to share a wrap-up of my work abroad!

This beautiful weather we’ve been having has me missing Georgetown…

 

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Show me the money! / Parlons argent!

monopoly 3

Photo credit: Hasbro MONOPOLY

La version française suit l’anglais

Lately, I’ve been using Monopoly to teach the concepts of cash flow.

My students really enjoyed this!

As with any lesson, some learned the hard way that, if you buy everything in sight, you may not be able to meet your financial obligations…

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Is an international exchange right for me? / Un échange international, est-ce pour moi?

Always smiling with my entrepreneurship students

Always smiling with my entrepreneurship students

La version française suit l’anglais

I was recently asked: What advice would you give a colleague looking to contribute to knowledge abroad?

Hmmm… where to start?

First off, I would say go for it!

We often don’t realize how much we can contribute and the changes we can help bring about.

In Canada, we think of an expert as someone who has a master’s degree and years of experience to back it up. Elsewhere, we become experts because of where we have come from and the skills we bring.

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It’s International Development Week! / C’est la Semaine du développement international!

development week

La version française suit l’anglais

For the past 24 years, International Development Week has been celebrated the first week of February.

This year, I’m thrilled to be one of the many Canadians making a difference around the world.

As many of my readers know, I’m developing an entrepreneurship training curriculum and also teaching students at the Open Doors Centre, a vocational school for students with disabilities, in Guyana.

This is made possible through a joint pilot program between the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Cuso International.

Check out how other Canadians are making a difference.

Thanks for all your support!

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Renewed hope for Persons with Disabilities /Un nouvel espoir pour les personnes handicapées

Presentation by the National Commission on Disability

Presenter outlines the Persons with Disabilities Act

La version française suit l’anglais

As part of staff development at the Open Doors Centre, we attended a presentation by the National Commission on Disability (NCD) to educate ourselves about the realities of living with a disability in Guyana and about the country’s next steps for improving conditions for persons with disabilities (PWDs). 

Over the past few months of working in Guyana, I’ve started to see how inaccessible the country is.

Most buildings do not have ramps, access to education is limited (but growing) and even our own school bus at the Open Doors Centre does not have a working wheelchair lift.

In the short time I have been here, I have seen the consequences of this inaccessibility first-hand, with one student dropping out of school because she could not get to the Centre everyday.

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What’s this about VIP at John Legend concert!? / Un spectacle de John Legend!?

Yes, I was THAT close to John Legend!!

Yes, I was THAT close to John Legend!!

La version française suit l’anglais

I recently sent my colleague in Montreal some of this month’s photos of my time in Guyana.

One of them simply had the caption: VIP at a John Legend concert.

Her lightning-fast response: “What’s this about VIP at a John Legend concert!?”

I hadn’t really mentioned it in my update to her but yes, I was a VIP at a concert by the hugely popular John Legend.

Singer-songwriter John Legend came down for the “Night of Love Concert” at the National Stadium this past January 4th.

“But how!?” was this colleague’s next question.

Well, let’s just say VIP tickets are very affordable by Canadian standards and yes, we were THAT close!!

The VIP section wasn’t full and we got to wander around, enjoying the music and exclusive access.

Only in Guyana!

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A colleague visits / Visite d’un collègue

Visiting the falls with Ryan, left, and his brother

This week, I’m doing things a little differently on the blog.

I present to you a special guest post by my colleague, Ryan, who recently came down for a visit.

Ryan is a senior account manager at BDC in London, Ontario.

I asked him to shine a little light on Guyana from his point of view. He’s worked for a number of international trade organizations and on development projects around the world.

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