An interesting case of special treatment

February 12 Group

I started the day with a scoop shower. There is no water in the water pipes, but that is only temporary, and there is a caretaker who compensates for the lack of running water. He keeps the water barrel in our bathroom well-filled. Except for the lack of running water, Bernt and I have very good accommodations here in Luozi. We have our own appartement with good and comfortable rooms. And we feel perfectly fine, our only wish is for the weather to be a little less hot.

On day three of the entrepreneurial course, there was 16 participants. We went on working with the budgets, we went through the calculations of the participants together and discussed the different plans that had been presented. Just like the days before, we took a break halfway through and had some soft drinks and biscuits. The day before, I had asked for a working electricity supply, but when the clock turned 10.20 am, the power in the lines disappeared. The generator had to take a rest, and the engineer had to have his coffee-break. At 11 o´clock, the engineer returned to service, started the generator according to the regulations, and we could continue the class with our electrified equipment. Next part in the course was bookkeeping. We concluded that part with a number of business events that they were asked to record correctly. This part went really well. Budgeting was more difficult. The education will continue when we come to Congo the next time. During the time in between, they will complete and hand in their thorough descriptions of their business ideas. We finished the day with a slide show of our days in Luozi.

We were invited to dinner with the School manager Keto Clement. We had fish from the Congo river, manioc, rice and sakasaka, which is similar to spinach stew, but made from manioc leaves. For desert we had bananas. Afterwards, we went home and took a nap for an hour. The heat was pressing, we had +34°C in the shade, and considerably hotter in the sun.

After our nap, we took a walk around Luozi and visited a number of entrepreneurs that have participated in our course. We visited a grocery shop, a combined clothes shop and tailor, and a restaurant, all of which are owned by Jean Patrice. He is a nice guy, and he offered us soft drinks which was welcome considering the heat. We talked to Lema who runs a business that facilitates money tranfer between different places in Congo. This is a new type of business that we hadn´t heard of before. There were two entrepreneurs that had started this kind of service. We also visited a savings bank and talked to the manager. In order to use the services of this bank, you have to be a member and you have to save money for a certain amount of time before you can apply for a loan. The bank took an interest of 10% of the loan from male customers, and of 5% from female customers provided they were a group of three. This is an interesting form of special treatement,and it gives a good perspective on the differences in trust capital of the two genders.