Friday, June 11, 2010

Exciting Update

Hola Mi Amigos Y Mi Familia
I can't believe it - it's been > two months since my last update! Part of the reason is we've just been so freak'n busy.

Since getting back at Easter I've accepted a large government contract and another contract with a company in Toronto, both to write curriculum for text books. One is an education program the government is mandating for mortgage brokers wanting to renew their licenses and the other is a rewrite of a training program for loans officers at credit unions nationally. The only down side is this is starting to look an awful lot like work! Instead of leisurely spending my summer riding my motorcycle I'll be working full time right through until the end of September. Oh well, it beats the heck out of the alternative.

On the personal side we debated for the last year or so about selling our home and buying someplace newer and larger. Well, after months of debate and consternation we decided to stay. We love the area and we want to start thinking seriously about buying a place in Mexico so it doesn't make sense to take on a mortgage at this point. But that doesn't mean the status quo. No, we decided if we're going to stay we'd do a lot of reno's and updates we should have thought of earlier. I'm not posting any pictures here because you've all been through it yourself so you know - it's a LOT of work. It's been pretty much all encompassing for the last six weeks and I figure we have another month to go, but it'll look great when it's finally done.

But here's the news I'm most excited about. Credit unions in Canada are actually financial co-operatives, even though a lot have forgotten their roots. As co-operatives, their true mandate is helping their memberships by providing services they couldn't otherwise get from traditional banks. In Canada, the umbrella organization for co-operatives is the Canadian Co-operative Association, whose mandate, aside from being the trade organization for co-operatives, is fighting third-world poverty through the co-operative movement worldwide.

As part of this mandate the Association recruits credit union senior management from Canada to travel to third world countries to assist credit unions there with things like governance, management and micro-finance projects. One of these projects is in Mongolia and I've been accepted into the program. I'll be travelling to Mongolia for three weeks this October, to assist credit unions there get their programs up and running. It all boils down to giving them a hand up, not a hand out and I'm really pleased and excited about the opportunity to be part of the program. I go over this year and again for three weeks next year and in between I'll have speaking engagements and will continue to work with my Mongolian counterparts via webinars and virtual classrooms.

Other than that it's pretty much been same ol same ol - although, I'm afraid there hasn't been much riding. That will have to wait until I ride to California with Brad for the Horizons rally. We're going to ride for ten days and swing south east to Yellowstone and then west to California before heading up the Pacific Coast Highway to finish the trip. And for that, I'm MOST definitely excited.