A Day In The Life

Benjamin D'Innocenzo

Benjamin D'Innocenzo

Posted 01 August 2014

London Program

August 2010 Intake

A Day in the Life of Benjamin D'Innocenzo (Alum of the Month - February 2013) who currently works as a Business Development Advisor for The United States Peace Corps Cameroon, West Africa.

Mornings start early in my small abode in Cameroon. The temperature sharply rises with the sun, and all sorts of busy activity in my neighborhood begins around 4:45 AM. The sounds of chickens clucking, pots and pans banging, machetes being sharpened make it hard to sleep in...

After getting myself ready for the day, I head to the office of my microfinance organization, TOMCCUL to meet with the manager and money collectors for a morning briefing. Afterwards, I hold an office hour for potential entrepreneurs in the community to come in for a consult, or schedule in meetings with current work partners. My work mainly consists of growing the organization's client base, but also involves a lot of 1-1 business consulting and planning services.

In the afternoon, I'll take a stroll into town for lunch. Typically one type of meal is prepared daily, no matter which vendor is being used, so you can't be too picky. Boiled plantains, rice, beans and chicken are usually on the menu. Lunch is a great time to be seen. People know that I work for the microfinance organization in town, and often feel too intimidated to come into the office to arrange a meeting. Making myself available in town allows for a more free flow of communication with potential clients.

After lunch, my counterpart and I jump on a motorcycle, and venture out into some of the more remote areas of our sub division to visit member farming cooperatives for a 'check in' or to relay up to date information. Phone service is often unavailable in these areas so face to face meetings is necessary.

When the sun starts to get lower, I'll end my day with a workout and spend some time with the families in my cartier before cooking dinner, and organizing my schedule for the following day.