Today I started at five o’clock with office work. By then, the activities were already in full swing on the parking lot outside. Overnight, around thirty cars are parked here inside the walls. And every morning, a dozen men make the cars shiny both inside and outside. They also perform certain car service. Some Congolese are very particular about the car being clean, others are less scrupulous. For them neither a car wash or a polish would help to bring up the shine. Best before day of their vehicles is long since passed.
Bernt, Lennart and Lars-Ola took care of the morning session with the new entrepreneur group, it is the third day today. They went through the sales budget, the investment calculation, and then the total budget for the entire company. They also taught them our accounting system. Yapeco and I went through the agreement we have between us. We also looked at some computer software. 10.30 a.m., Yapeco and I got soft drinks and biscuits for the entrepreneurs, they needed a little break in the heat. When we came to the Youth House, Bernt was talking about the budget. When we arrived with the snacks Bernt felt he was being rejected, he said. He had to quit right away. Who can resist a cold soft drink in 30 degree C heat, you can’t beat that offer. Competition is good. Ability gets a chance to prove itself when there is competition.
At 12:45 p.m. we went to Augustine for dinner. A bit far to go in this hilly city, but it is well worth the hardship to come to a such a fine home and besides, eating is valuable. Then we went back to the Youth House for the second round with secondary school teachers. At 2:15 p.m. we were 15 minutes late. Luckily, the teachers applied the academic hour. No one had come when we arrived. They dropped in gradually, and after half an hour everybody was present. In addition to the principal and assistant principal, the Chairman of the CEC’s school districts in Matadi had come too. The interest seems high for a business program of this kind, and it will be interesting to see if they manage to get it started. We will support them along the way.
Then we had a coffee break and prepared to visit an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, this is an entrepreneur who has caused us some concern. Last week we terminated his loan due to fraudulent behaviour. This Monday, he claimed he would come and repay the loan. He failed to appear. Now we will activate his entire team to get him on better thoughts. We are hoping for strong persuasion abilities within the group. His debt is the debt of the whole group through the guarantee.
So it’s time to crawl under the mosquito net the last night in Matadi. We think we have accomplished a few things, and we feel ready to leave.