Jok Jok, the driver and friend who accompany us for the whole month gave us the last ride to the pier. Though it was the same small jeepney filled with 13 people and our luggage, we did not feel stuffy or crowded as we really missed our host family, Guimaras and the whole month’s unique experience.
After refreshing my mind about this whole month, I kindly realize how rewarding this course is, not only in that it helps me to get a more healthy skin color, but also how to work, play and socialize in a totally unfamiliar
Unlike other courses we take, where most of the studying hours are done in the campus for the review, presentation and assignments, this course offers us the challenging but rewarding mission of providing consulting service to the small local business.
Tina and I work for the business of cashew processing while the other five groups have involved in totally different business. Since the professor has very limited engagement, mostly on liaison, arranging transportation and meetings, we are the one to decide what to do to learn and help the business for the month. This was quite challenging at the beginning since we had to do all the real work by ourselves. We could simply write in our report like we have to carry on the industry research and do the integration of the whole product line but here it was action instead of words. Honestly, at the beginning, we had quite ambitious plan like helping Liberty Cashew to become the top processor on Guimaras, but gradually we realized how naïve it was to make such big changes in three weeks. It did not mean that we were discouraged to make any changes, but we turned to focus more on feasible improvements, which turned out to be quite good for the business.
Another part is the socialization, widely referring to the communication with other teammates, host family, business owner and other people we met. Unlike other group projects, here we not only work and study together, but also eat, play and even live near each other. It is obvious to see the diversity in the group and make friends with different people. I’m quite shocked by the hospitality and sincere of the Pilipino people. Every member of the host family is very kind to us and there were so many times that I was touched by their kindness and hospitality. Even the business people and government officials are no exception. In order to get technical and funding assistance, we went to department of trading and department of science and technology. It was a little bit nervous to talk to the head of the departments at first, but gradually we started to talk freely even about our stories in Hong Kong. And more importantly, they clearly knew our intention and were willing to offer a lot of helps. And we also met with other cashew processors and they turned out to be the same. Even I myself think it is quite suspicious for two university students to come and ask for details in the operation, but they are willing to share with us.
And moreover, we are not dull boys and we had a lot of fun in this whole month. I feel so regretful for not learning to swim before coming here, otherwise I could have a lot more fun in the beach. Still, I quite enjoy the other activities and exploration. And it is my first time to try the zip line nearly in the sky.
The gifts I received, the report to the business owner, the great taste of the sweet mango and spicy cashew, they all become my precious memories. In a few days, I will finish my video as well, hopefully, some other students could come there again to continue our unfinished business and enjoy the wonderful life there.