I was home with my sick daughter yesterday and actually had some time to finish Banker To The Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty, by Muhammad Yunus. This is a fascinating look at the “true” poor in Bangladesh and how a professor of Economics, changed the world of lending one small village at a time by creating Grameen Bank.
The concept is simple. Small loans, as little as $27, are provided to the poor so they can create small businesses. This enables the poor to help themselves by generating income for food, education, etc. In addition to being able to raise themselves above the poverty line, the members of the community that choose to become members of Grameen also find that there is a vast improvement within their villages in the way of support and social responsibility once people begin to understand the value of “self worth”.
The second half of the book discusses programs within the U.S. and the mindset that the poor will never help themselves as long as there are active welfare programs that support them.
I found this section especially interesting.
Check it out.
I love road trips. I like the conversations that take place as the miles pass us by. I also enjoy the anticipation of getting to our destination. This weekend, we were invited to celebrate Easter with my in-laws so we piled into the car and headed out of town.
My son immediately asked for Bonine to combat the car sickness which had yet to rear its ugly head. Now, I don’t really think he gets car sick, but he did get sick once, in the car, so now he is sure he will always be sick on any commute longer than 30 minutes. I always give it to him because you never know, and who wants to clean the car up on a trip out of town? I know I don’t.
So the kids chatted. My husband and I chatted. We complained about songs on the radio, commented on crazy drivers, ate crackers and talked some more. My husband always asks me which way I want to go. So I tell him, and then he goes the opposite way only to hit severe traffic. Then we do the “I told you so’s” all around the car. “Mom told you so Dad!” So then he spends the next 20 min figuring out a way around the traffic to redeem himself. We just laugh because he usually ends up right where I told him to go in the first place.
As soon as we got to our destination, I realized that my daughter had a REALLY high fever. No signs of anything else so we went out to dinner, played some board games back at the house and then went to bed. When we are away from home, my daughter and I “camp out” together which basically means we share a bed. On this particular night I am glad I did because the poor child was burning up! I was up all night giving her water, meds, and anything else she needed and she spent the night having phantom nightmares, etc. Not fun.
The next morning was Easter morning. She stumbled out. Looked fine.. went to find her Easter goods and all looked well..until I touched her. The fever continued. This meant no Easter Brunch. My in laws were nice enough to bring some food by, but I think they were irked that I had a Starbucks cup in hand along with the remnants of a blueberry muffin. Hey, I was up at the crack of dawn and had to eat something with all the meds I had to take!
Anyway.. the trip was sort of a bust and my little one is still with fever. She is with the other Grandma today so she can get more rest. The trip wasn’t a total loss though because I still had a good time catching up with the kids. We are all so busy that we have to take advantage of communication opportunities whenever we can. Even if they happen inside an SUV that is stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.