Come with me on a journey to northern Albania, an area known for legendary hospitality, ancient citadels, and blood feuds. In many villages in the north the people are not governed by 21st century european law, but a law that is much older called the Kanun.
The Kanun, or canon, is a 500-year-old code of conduct covering every aspect of medieval life, from births and marriages to hunting and grazing rights and written alongside the duties of a village blacksmith, and the penalties for allowing a goat to stray onto a neighbour's land, it lays out detailed procedures for blood feuds, with a chillingly loose definition of an eye-for-an-eye. When someone is killed, revenge can be exacted not just against the killer himself, but all males in his extended family clan.
When I write this, I have just arrived in my new hometown for the next four months, Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. Slowly I am getting used to being in one place for more than two consecutive weeks after having spent the past few months travelling over three continents to twelve countries with more than 200 hours on at least forty flights.
It still blows my mind that within 24 hours you can go almost anywhere in the world by plane. Flying is an incredible concept. 300 people moving at two hundred miles per hour at 38,000 feet and quite frankly you feel no different to when you sit at your kitchen table having breakfast. With the evolution of low cost and local airlines we can now reach all corners of the world much easier than ever before and enjoy the true beauty of our planet.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful places on earth? Cinque de Terre in Italy
One of the little known facts about micro finance is that it is heavily dependent upon information technology. Even though loan sizes are small the amount of transactions necessary to properly account for all of the transactions can, in the aggregate, easily exceed a million transactions a year for a given institution. Recently I had the opportunity to work with Ivonne Balsecca.