Almost at the end of our trip, it’s sad saying goodbye to many members of the community we have been working with in Ahuachapán. From the masons building such an incredible home with us to the women of the local co-op, it has been a pleasure to experience the values and work ethic that these people exhibit.

This morning, as many of the women we taught had to go to San Salvador for a meeting for their co-op, we had the remaining students work on an activity to create their own product with random materials that we brought from the states. The Habitat group was busy creating braided bracelets and simple key chains. I looked over to see what our pupils had thought of. Never had I seen such creativity as one woman was finishing a flowered ring out of key hooks and fabric while another was sewing a purse and creating a buttoned bracelet. It was incredible. As I looked down at my simple braided bracelet, I just thought- where is our ETA at Babson sometimes? I smiled and laughed a little to Christina next to me, as we reminded ourselves that we just need to think outside of the box, and I was left thinking of the possibilities that I could do with some string and buttons.

Meanwhile, our friend Oswaldo, who also helped us translate on the work site, had joined our teaching session and simply tied a white ribbon around his arm. As the women of the co-op explained their intricate bracelets and ideas and we were wowed and awed by their complexity, Oswaldo stood up. He described that sometimes people don’t need complex and motioned to what the women had just presented. Sometimes, the consumer just wants a simple white bracelet. I looked down at my simple braid as well. Yes, it may not have been the extensive ideas of the women of the co-op, but Oswaldo was right- I wanted something simple and that’s exactly what I made.

The women of the co-op exhibited the correct ETA that we, as Babson students, constantly strive for. Given simple materials, they made jewelry, headbands, and bracelets that many would have never been able to create with a few buttons and some string. As a student, I am expected to do the same wherever I go within my career outside and in at Babson. But, I believe Oswaldo taught a great lesson as well today- sometimes we don’t need a complex idea and sometimes the answer is right in front of us. Yes, we need to constantly think of creative ideas to push forward throughout life, but it is important to remember that sometimes we cannot overthink ideas. As daunting as the world entrepreneurship may seem, it can be as simple as a plain white fabric bracelet.

 

Sarah Christie

Class of 2015