Beautiful place with nice people ,new start !

-By Tina
Having been staying in Africa for one month last summer , all the things including the environment and the people just seem familiar to me. The common thing in less-developed countries is that the people are always  so nice though the living conditions are hard , and you will always be treated in a sincere way with hospitality as well as  politeness. Also, you do not need to be too scrupulous about violating the local custom or feel embarrassed when you can not understand the  language.
The relationship is never complicated and people are intirstimate with each other in such a small community.The hard conditions like lack of electricity do not make us uncomfortable. On the contrary, it created conditions for a healthy habit— sleeping before 12:00 and getting up before 7:00 with three meals at the right time. Gradually ,girls won’t be scared when seeing bugs,not just because we get used of it, actually we realise that they are also part of  the nature, just like the simple culture and customs,  inherently here.
Before coming to Africa or Philippine, I read several books about the poor economics that illustrate the reasons why some countries can not enjoy the development fruit. The single mindset or uncivilized culture and thoughts are usually some of the factors that are to blame,  with laziness serves as another way to express. However, after living here for only 2 days,I began to believe that objective geographic factors such as climate conditions can play a primary role. We can hear the modern western music and even the newest songs from time to time;we can sense their open attitude,which seems quite the same between us. However,I found myself sometimes can not stand the hot weather ,too tired to take one step and I would rather sit in front of  the fans for the whole day,not to mention work outside. The hot weather just make the easiest a million times harder than usual. I can not imagine how to sustain in such heat for the whole year. However, having been used to such conditions,local people always live their life with energetic. In this regard, it is fair to say that they are just less efficient on an absolute basis,but may be relative more successful in conquering the inside shortcomings of human beings like sloth since they need to suffer more from born. I will suggest those western scholars experience the life for a long time here before adopting a condescending attitude and  criticising tone.
I did not expect we can still have a day for entertainment before working and was so surprised to see the beautiful beach here while having fun with the group,during which I found that my group mates were quite creative and brave when they tried different types of game. I was sure that we would have a good time working together.
Today was the first day that we met the business we would engage in the next 3 weeks. Everyone was excited. After the long journey, each group find their places. We got together again in the afternoon to share our experience. I was impressed by the comprehensive capabilities that my group mates possessed and the insights they got in such a short time. However, though everything was interesting just as expected, different challenges appeared,some of which were technical problems while some were principle. Firstly, as a student consultant without certain rules or guidance about what we should do, some students were confused about their roles with different types of business owner. For instance, one boss had a less open attitude and took care of  her business in every detail. The students might seem no different to other visitors in her eye. In another case, the employer happened to be those who think more than act, thus considering the students consultants employees from outside sources that could help him develop a new stream business. In both cases, students face the challenges to establish an equal mutual respective relationship,which may affect the following work.
Next, small business here usually lack of sense of the modern financial management, which means the business theory and accounting skills we learned in classes risk becoming formality and must be presented in an acceptable way according to the local needs. Charlie and I found this issue most difficult to handle since the business we dealt with was a cashew tree nuts store and its owner never kept a formal record of each transactions, which made the historical operation performance impossible to trace. We hope to find a way out in the following days.
Looking forward to everyone’s excellent ideas!

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