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May 05, 2005

Thursday, May 05, 2005 1202AM

Tonight I took two groups of kids out for a birthday celebration. The first was to dinner a mixed group of Junior High girls and boys. I barley got them back for study hall, which is apparently a requirement….. The second group was just the boys. We drove down to a hotel close by and went bowling. We had a good time making as many ball jokes as we could (Jr High, I fit right in). We threw the birthday boy in the pool on the way back to the van, he almost drowned because it was so cold and his cloths instantly absorbed tons of water!! I got some good pictures! So we marched him through the lobby of the five star hotel leaving puddles of water with every step. I then allowed them to ride on top of the van all the way back… this is a big tradition from my day that is currently outlawed. They about froze to death, especially the birthday boy, but we made it back in one piece. It’s a memory none of these boys will soon forget and I was lucky enough to be here for it. Its time like these when I actually like my life!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 11:45PM

As a foreigner doing business in southwest Asia it is very important to have a trusted local partner/manager that can hear your intention and carry them out in the context of his culture. I am lucky; I have this man on my side here. He is trustable, dependable, and will get the best price possible every time. This is a rare and powerful dynamic. That is why I feel the responsibility to bring as many resources I possibly I can to this place, because I, unlike many have the ability to actually make a huge difference with them thanks to this partner.

That is my biggest concern when considering my most recent job offer. You see their are many locals in the country of the job offer, who have been spoiled by NGO’s and the UN or western countries that pay salaries and prices that are out of this world of services. Many think they are doing the country a favor by paying western prices, but I assure you it does nothing but harm to long term investors. A developing countries economy will never develop by hand outs.

If this type of behavior isn’t minimized, no investors or business people are going to bring their money to town. Because they would be paying the same prices for MASSIVELY inferior work. The population has to grow the economy. The economy will grow the people’s skill. It’s a balance.

I worry that I won’t be able to find that one guy who will eventually be proven trustworthy, the one who will get the best prices for the project regardless of my skin color or perceived budget. The guy who is loyal because he believes in something more than raping the westerners for whatever he can get because he know that they wont always be around. That one individual is the best security and the best recipe for success available to a foreign businessman in southwest Asia.

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