Meeting the Veep, Pt 1
It’s 9:20 pm, and we’re sitting in the most gaudy outdoor rotunda you could ever imagine. Chris Hoskins is once again talking about his silica mine, Rob Stark is cracking us up, and Chris’ mom Patty is practically signing along to the “make you want to kill yourself” 60’s and 70’s love balads that are blaring over the humidty and heat of San Salvador.
So … just a few hours after getting off the airplane we headed over to our formal meeting. We showed up at this gated, private, guarded restaurant, and were sat in a very particular order in a side room — a table for 6. A bit later, the Director of PROESA — the agency that’s promoting investment in El Salvador, and that arranged the meeting — showed up. She was kind and gracious, and helped set us at ease. Shortly thereafter, Mdm Vice President arrived, and she had her people stay outside, so it was just 2 of them on one side of the table, and the 3 of us on the other side. Everything went great … Mdm VP was comfortable, and relatively casual. Chris talked up a storm (of course), but at some point I did get chat a little about EO (the formal business) and formally invite the Vice Pres. to come speak to our Region.
She accepted invite, and then we just chatted … conversations about how she was just with 60 world leaders at a convention in France, and how she sat with Jacques Chirac, and their conversations … or about the scheduling of that office … and we even got to talk a little about the calendar project, which they both liked. (In fact, they said they’d call the Minister of Tourism’s office to check in on the idea, and make sure it was moving forward.) So … great meeting. Very interesting, fairly casual, with no security (visible) in the room. But all too soon the President’s people called, and said “The President needs the Vice President” … and we barely had time to give her — on behalf of EO — the bottle of Merryvale Profile.
From there, I jetted (with Yolanda, our representative), to the meeting with the Marketing Dir. of CORSATUR — the Ministry of Tourism. The meeting was fairly short, but I think it went very well. Of course, we were late, but at least we had the “Sorry, the VP’s meeting ran long” excuse, which I think is the rare excuse that elevates the cause rather than hurts it. Raul didn’t have any major objections — just a few good questions — and it seemed he would pass on the proposal to the Dir of Tourism with a positive recommendation. So it’s all good …
Last but not least … we went (all on behalf/with of Chris) to see a property, then to negotiate with its owner, interviewed some lawyers, visited a call center, got pitched on a real estate deal, and … at last … had dinner! Now, finally, we’re sitting outside, thinking about going to bed at 9:40 pm. Crazy day.