It’s been a dizzying, fearful but exhilarating experience

By, Christine Ho

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The DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) of Guimaras which we visited for potential funding

It’s the last week of work and stress has been running high (though admittedly it’s more of the procrastination interspersed with panic attack variety of stress). Our work is finally on track! After getting co-operation from our business (from a week of hounding them) we now have our plates semi-full with visits to government offices, schools and variety of other places to collect information and to make sure that our proposal is feasible. As part of our proposal we suggested that the ecopark could write a subunit of marine conservation/ecology to supplement the current curriculum and allow for schools to adopt the unit into their curriculum as they wish – this could then lead to experiential learning trips to the park. I’ve come to realize that the more ‘innovative’ (or, lets be real, random) your idea is, the more information has to be gathered in order to make it work. At times it makes me wonder if such ideas are worth the trouble – after all, there are still typical, less strenuous and perhaps more rewarding changes that we could make – the digitization of records, for example, could be something that is almost a certain improvement that could be made. Whereas the idea of a subunit is still up in the air, where our lack of local knowledge and the political system could simply make the idea a no go after all our work of visiting various sources in order to gather information. Of course, there’s nothing much that can be done about this at this stage, we work on both types of changes, the risky, innovative ones and the steadfast, typical ones – we can simply hope for the best that our efforts will produce results.

Extending on the paragraph above about the different ideas proposed, the consideration we put into our project is much higher than our projects based on theory (Introduction to marketing, Principles of management etc.). We have to bear responsibility for the ideas we suggest (though this sounds a tad weird). What I mean to say is, throwing out ideas is all good and well, but we must make sure our ideas work here as well. And this goes beyond just reasoning it out, for example a Hong Kong style cafe at the airport will be a good brand extension for G.O.D. (my marketing project last semester) because the brand has cultural barriers which can be breached by the offering of food which can be experienced by all despite cultural differences. Rather we have to also have to consider our clients inclination (do they like the idea?), the amount of money within our budget, whether it is allowed by the government, if people would accept this type of marketing etc. It’s a lot more tiring and definitely a lot less glamorous but at the same time, our work here feels very legitimate. The visits to the department of education, the department of tourism etc. these actions produce a feeling of achievement – of solid work for change. Unlike the previous courses achievements which felt more like a production of a beautiful work of art – admired for the eloquence of an idea written; this course produces a sense of contentment from producing actual changes. It feels like riding a bicycle with the training wheels off for the first time – a absolutely dizzying, fearful but exhilarating experience. And I am 100% glad I took this course though I still feel 200% uncertain about our report and the changes that we can instill for our business.

Lastly I would end on a change of opinion for my second blog post. I’ve been stating that the people here are all too absorbed by daily chores since they lack the use of technology of washing machines to free up their time, for example. But having stayed here for longer I’m not so certain about my hasty statement in my moment of glorified ‘enlightenment’ is true. People seem to have quite a lot of time to idle around here, my statement seems to fit the book characters within F. Sionil Jose’s book but not Guimaras – for which I am glad. This relaxing lifestyle is something I wish Hong Kong has (especially for people like me, who can be better described as sloths than human), and it provides a alternative to the HK lifestyle I’m used to experiencing. Perhaps it’s time I consider immigrating!

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