PICTURES MISCELLANEOUS – VOL. II – THE MENDOZA ADDITION

Yo, Yo, Hey !

Do you know what the word  “glutton” means?  Holy Mother of Pearl….Spent the last 4 days drinking wine, eating steak, and taking in the views:

NOTE TO SELF – Savior places where I can simultaneously swim and gaze at the snow capped mountains…

Mendoza is to Argentina as Napa is to USA.

I think I could get used to this…although I would be dead in a year – Damn.

Day 40 .  Splurge trip.  #grateful.

 

PICTURES MISCELLANEOUS – VOL. I

Well hello ladies & germs:

A new feature on The Wide World of The Wandering Capitalist.  No rhyme, no reason…just cool pics with (sometimes stupid) commentary.

And Awayyyy we go:

Sitting on the balcony in Cartagena…rolling thunder…I turn on the video on a whim…and….

FLASH!!!

Bonita.  Mother Nature = Powerful Beauty

 

“Como se llama?” De Salta, Argentina

These boys tasty too.

 

Speaking of food, Argentina is known for their Carne…

Hey Now.

And I do love empanadas…

Yes that much.  

And finally, fishing the old fashioned way…with interested parties looking on.  Dragging in the nets.

 

Click on this pic for a bigger view.

Adios for now.

The Wandering Capitalist And The Hub & Spoke Method

Hey, Hey, Hey –

So back in the day I would “run like the wind” and bounce from place to place.  Rip and run…Hard.

Now?  Hub and Spoke, baby.

Pick a hub city, lay down temporary roots, and then spoke out to different places always returning to the hub.  Days of rest in between.  The middle aged way to travel… Ahhh….

So the first hub on this trip was Caragena, Colombia.  Last spoke Was Medellin.  This place ring a bell?   think “Norcos”  on Netflix.

Al Capone is to Chicago as Pablo Escobar is to Medellin.

Medellin is a cool place actually….and literally….the city of eternal spring.  Please check out this short video on this hub and spoke leg.  But before you do –

If you couldn’t be a human, what animal would you be?  Funny, but answers are usually similar…what say you??

So where are we now?  New hub is Buenos Aires.  Oh,  the fun of travel…thinking…what to do now!??  This place was supposed to be real nice…and not cheap!!

I guess we will see how good Airbnb really is….

This is one animal I would NOT choose to be…Damn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roadtrip Colombia

Driving long distance in Colombia was a trip.

76 miles Cartagena to Barranquilla .

66 miles Barranquilla to Santa Marta.

142 miles Santa Marta to Cartegena.

Caribbean Coast.  Beautiful.

How is it to drive in Colombia?  Picture hilly two lane roads, large slow trucks, and long lines of cars passing on both sides at all times.  Solid lines – who cares?  Blind turns – no problem.

I thought I was playing Atari video.

Damn.

Ever go into a hotel room and have it so polluted with bacteria that it made your head swim?  What happens if your partner is allergic?

“Down Goes Frazier! ”

DAMN.

New hotel booked from parking lot and away we go.

Soccer in Colombia is NFL football X 10.   World Cup qualifier vs. Paraguay?  X 100.

DAMN!!!

Going from hard Scrabble Barranquilla to Bohemian Santa Marta is like Travelling from Newark, NJ to Martha’s Vineyard. Ahhh….

Dammnnn….

Please check this short vid out to get a sense.  I love Colombia.

 

 

 

 

And the Winner is…

So we had 516 entries in the 2017 TWC caption contest…ok, actually 16…all vying for the following prize:

 

Easy killer,  just the shirt.

AND THE WINNER IS….

” AN ADOORABLE WOMAN”  scribed by PHIL ALVITI !!

Phil Alviti, voted most popular class of 1982, Peabody High School. Yes, that Phil Alviti…

Honorable mentions go to:

Fred Jones for “Spread your wings…treasures of the world await” and

Rick Merryman for “I told my contractor Brian was pliant, not a giant!

Tee Shirts coming your way also!

You are my brother, Elvis.  Love ya.

 

 

 

 

El Capitalista Errante – de Nuevo en la Silla de Montar de Nuevo!

Yo, Yo, Yo and Hello,  Ladies & Germs:

It has been awhile, I know,  but as the title declares…I am back in the Saddle again!   Or at least I am about to…

Who?

Me.  Brian Dubin, The Wandering Capitalist.

Where?

South America.  Specifically, Columbia, Peru, and Chile.  Time to finally learn Spanish!

How long?

6 weeks.  giddy up.

Alone again?

Naturally…NOT!  The Fabulous Miya, aka Little Miss Fuzzy Head, aka the Wandering Curl is on-board and in the house.

 

aka…hey now

Why?

Why not?  To experience the world for sure…but more importantly to raise money for my charity partners – BUILD Great Boston, Future Founders, and NFTE Chicago.  At 53 I got no time to waste…or at least that is what my back and knees are telling me.  You feel me?

How?

Both Miya and I will donate $9.78 for every mile we walk on the trip.  Also we are asking people like you to lend a hand.  100% of all monies raised goes to our charity partners by the way.  TWC is the real deal, my friend.  Check out our web page to donate at www.thewanderingcapitalist.org.

So what have I been doing?

Just trying to keep it all together. …just like you ,I would imagine.   Life has a way of getting in the way, if you know what I mean…

First a quote:

Don’t hurry, don’t worry. You’re only here for a short visit. So be sure to stop and smell the flowers.
Walter Hagen

And now a poem (yes, a dam poem):

THE SECRET TO FLIGHT

Don’t flap your winds so hard.  it only exhausts you.

close your eyes.  Lean into the currents, say yessss.  Let the wind raise you higher and higher.  So easy.  that’s what Eagles do.

Oh, this is the secret to life as well

KAMAL RAVIKANT/ From his recent book “REBIRTH”

Both are words to live by.  yes?

THE MORAL OF THE STORY:

Chill out, dude,  and enjoy the day.  Nothing is promised.

RIP Danny Pimenta.

Talk to you from Cartagena.

 

 

Everyday is Hump Day in Israel

Hey, Hey, Hey Now:

Yes, Israel is expert at irrigation and agriculture and planting trees.  I am told the place is quite green in the spring…..at present it looks like California after a long hot summer.  Make no mistake, it is a desert land at the end of the day.

This means camels galore.

 

man-with-camel

I wonder what cigarette brand he is smoking….

This next pic summarizes Israel in a nutshell.  Old school with the new.   This was taken at below sea level in the Negev desert.

car-with-camel

What do you call a camel without a hump, you ask?

Humphrey, of course.  (ouch – but this is the only clean joke I could think of…)

Adios/ Shalom for now.

Profiling Ayele Shakur of BUILD & “What is The Wandering Capitalist Anyway”?

Hello Everyone:

Below is an excellent article from BU’s Questrom  School of Business magazine profiling Ayele Shakur, Executive Director of BUILD – Greater Boston.  BUILD was the first charity partner  of The Wandering Capitalist and continues to be an organization that we partner with.  Ayele’s story below explains why BUILD is worthy of our support.

As we are closing our 2nd year of The Wandering Capitalist, many of you have asked “what is the Wandering Capitalist anyway”?

Think of us as a mutual fund that vets and then supports charities whose missions are to help underprivileged youth through learning entrepreneurship.

How do we support them?  Through volunteering and just plain showing up.  By raising money from people like YOU.

The Wandering Capitalist has three charity partners in our “Portfolio”.   BUILD – Great Boston, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) – Chicago, and Future Founders- Chicago.

If you have yet to donate this year or… CALAMITY!!! ….have yet to donate, please go to www.thewanderingcapitalist.org and look for the DONATE button on the left.  Anything helps.

And so…without further Adieu…Herrrreee’s Ayele!

 

Fall 2016

 

The Future Giver

In the 10 minutes or so it’ll take you to read this article, 23 kids will quit high school—one new dropout every 26 seconds; 1.2 million students a year. For many of those still in school, but on the edge of leaving education behind, life can seem to offer few prospects. Ayele Shakur (BSBA’87) directs a nonprofit that uses entrepreneurship to teach some of Boston’s hardest-hit youth that they can defy the odds. She takes the city’s worst-performing students and helps them build and run their own businesses. Along the way, she’s learned a lot about measuring success in unconventional ways, shaping the next generation of leaders, and taking advantage of opportunities, no matter what life throws your way.

The CEOs of the businesses incubated by the entrepreneurship nonprofit BUILD Greater Boston aren’t gunning to compete on Shark Tank or prompt frenzied stock offerings.

These young capitalists—all formerly low-performing high school students—are striving for a different mark of achievement as they create, design, and sell their own products. A group of them, whose company pitched scent-infused stress-relief balls, won a youth business plan competition. One, who led a profitable seller of ecofriendly office products, landed a four-year college scholarship.

The students who participate in BUILD, a California-based program with five regional centers, are encouraged to think beyond traditional measures of success, to look past academic test scores to find their way into higher education and a career. Since becoming BUILD Greater Boston’s founding regional executive director in 2010, Shakur has drawn on her own life experiences to help shape this next generation of leaders.

A native of Roxbury, Massachusetts, Shakur was an aspiring screenwriter and a single mother before heading her own nonprofit at age 30. Along the way, she came to see the value in recognizing your opportunities, finding your team, and asking for help.

“I think there’s a lot of power in intention,” Shakur says. “But you have to be aware of when doors are opening for you, and have the strength to walk through.”

A Change of Plan

The daughter of two Boston University graduates, Salim Shakur (LAW’63) and Carolyn Tutt Shakur (SAR’60), Shakur grew up in a middle-class enclave in an otherwise low-income community. Accepted to the College of Communication, she planned to become a screenwriter. When she became pregnant before graduating from high school, she thought she’d have to give up on college. But her mother refused to allow it, offering to care for Shakur’s son so she could attend school full time. The opportunity, and the offer of help, made her newly aware of the obstacles that can easily derail promising students. The desire to offer others the opportunities and advantages she enjoyed would later become the keystone of her business practice.

Shakur transferred into Questrom her sophomore year—again, at her mother’s urging. “She said, ‘Everything’s a business, so you should major in that,’” Shakur recalls. But she couldn’t shake her early hopes, and after BU, she moved to Hollywood to begin her career, writing scripts on her own time while working as a copywriter for a distributor to Blockbuster Video. At the time, Los Angeles was in the middle of a major teacher shortage, and had initiated emergency credentialing that allowed anyone with a bachelor’s degree to apply for a classroom job. Shakur, intrigued by the steady paycheck and flexible schedule, was promptly assigned to teach first and second grade in Compton, California—named the nation’s murder capital in the early 1990s—at a time when gang violence was rampant. For someone who’d attended private schools, it was a new world.

“I remember my first-grade students saying they passed chalk lines, where there had been a shooting, on the way to school,” Shakur says. “It was really my first awakening into what was happening in many urban school settings.”

She returned to Boston to enroll in graduate school at Harvard, and found a job at a private tutoring center that offered academic support in underserved neighborhoods. When the owner and founder decided to close the business, Shakur, fearful of the impact on the neighborhoods, bought the business, and reincorporated it as a nonprofit educational center—all without ever having run anything before. “It was trial by fire, figure it out as you go,” she says. “But it felt like the right place to be.”

Shakur led the organization, renamed the Boston Learning Center, for 15 years, expanding it to serve 700 students annually across the state. But as the student population grew, Shakur became focused on a broader issue: how could they help students learn to care about their education? Many had already become so accustomed to failing that they had little faith in the value of education in their lives. Still others were motivated, but struggled with homelessness, hunger, poverty, or family illness.

When BUILD’s leaders approached Shakur about launching a Boston outpost, she was wary, viewing the national model as a possible competitor to her tutoring center. But then she clicked with its mission: use experiential learning to motivate struggling students—“ignite youth potential”—with an eye on their success beyond high school.

“I had that internal tug, that this was something I was destined to do,” she says.

Fail Fast

The strength of BUILD rests on principles of control and empowerment—qualities that most teenagers covet, Shakur says, and that low-income and underperforming students may lack. The students invited into BUILD have entered high school as the lowest performing in their class, and are soon immersed in the program. In their first year, BUILD is a five-day, in-school elective class, where they work in teams to create a product, draft a business plan, and begin investor presentations. For the next two years, the team focuses on bringing their product to market and generating sales. By their junior year in high school, many students are earning a profit. The incentive is simple: real money.

“A student becomes a CEO, or a COO, and they go from something in their head, to a business plan on paper, to having an investor, to standing in front of a customer,” Shakur says. “There’s this sense of agency. And the payoff is tangible, you’ve earned some money, so the market reinforces it for you.”

That’s not to say every business is viable. For every Cookie Boss—a company that creates custom logo cookies, now in its fifth year—there’s another that doesn’t go the distance. That’s where the teachable moments that all entrepreneurs need come in.

“Many young people internalize failure, and it paralyzes them. In entrepreneurship, we have a saying, ‘Fail fast.’ Because failure is part of the process, and you need to accept it and ask, ‘What did the failure teach you?’”

Every BUILD business requires risk-taking on all sides, from the venture advisors—local businesspeople—who agree to provide the funds to these young entrepreneurs, to the teenagers themselves, who have to gain the confidence to promote their own ideas. The lesson? Failure is an option.

“Many young people internalize failure, and it paralyzes them,” Shakur says. “In entrepreneurship, we have a saying, ‘Fail fast.’ Because failure is part of the process, and you need to accept it and ask, ‘What did the failure teach you?’”

When the young CEOs learn that a setback doesn’t have to be the end of the road, they often apply that understanding to their academic careers as well. The results speak to the program’s power: between 10th and 12th grades, BUILD Greater Boston has a 60 percent retention rate, and 61 percent of its first class—again, once the lowest-performing cohort in the freshman class—is enrolled in a four-year college. BUILD says 97 percent of students who complete the program graduate high school on time; it puts the national average on-time graduation for low-income students at 73 percent. The program also encourages its students to think beyond high school and envision a fulfilling career; through corporate partnerships and mentorships, students visit companies and present their results, ensuring their familiarity and comfort with a corporate environment.

“It’s important that they don’t think business is a world they don’t belong to,” Shakur says. “This is about getting them to see that they belong in corporate America just as much as they belong in their neighborhoods.”

Shakur has her eye on expansion; the program, in five schools in 2016, will add another school in 2017, and plans to be in eight by 2020. But she knows she can’t do it without help from her team. She learned that lesson when she took charge of BUILD, and had to shutter the Boston Learning Center because it couldn’t function without her.

“When you start out, it’s very easy to micromanage, and continue to hold the knowledge and relationships within your own person. But if you’re managing something top-down, and the manager leaves, the information leaves with them,” she says. “At BUILD, it’s a shared decision-making process.”

That brings her back to the lesson she learned even before enrolling in college: ask for help, and be prepared to give it