My attempt to get braids
Bonswa! Life has suddenly become extremely busy here. I have been assigned a lot of projects at work which is keeping me on my toes. One of the big projects that I am part of the is web site building. Manutech’s current web site is a little outdated. I have been working hard with the IT professional in creating new layouts and features for the site. I am also working on finishing the 2nd quarter financial statements and putting together revised forecasts for the 3rd and 4th quarter.
However, I had a great last weekend. I went to Cap-Haitian for a long weekend. We left Port-au-Prince on Thursday and got back late Sunday. The drive to Cap-Haitian is an amazing 6-7 hour drive. Although the road wasn’t the best, it was a pleasant drive watching the countryside. The scenery was so refreshing with small farms and beautiful houses everywhere. The houses were small but they were very nicely built. The shape, the color, different objects on the porch is something great about the countryside that’s seems to be completely missing in the capital. For example, one house’s front porch was painted the same color as the bicycle that was parked on the side! I saw a whole different Haiti that is so beautiful but rarely thought of by rest of the world.
We stayed at a hotel near a beach outside Cap-Haitian. The hotel is called Norm’s place. It is a nice little place with 5 rooms. It was built by an American guy named Norm who traveled to this place couple decades ago. It’s almost like a B&B except, they served delicious dinners!
We spent the entire Friday on the beach which was a great experience. Haiti, still, is not a big tourist country in spite of some amazing beaches. If the Haitian government was serious, which is unlikely, tourism could improve the country’s economy immensely. Just look at other Carribbean nations; most of them flourish on tourism. But at the same time I am not conclusive if this would be good. I mean, the beaches I saw were very quiet with very few outsiders and a lot of locals. Many of the locals fish for living. I am afraid that a Marriott would kill the culture of these places and take away the quietness.
On Saturday, we went to see the Citadelle. “The Citadelle is a large mountaintop fortress in northern Haiti, approximately 17 miles south of the city of Cap-Haïtien and five miles uphill from the town of Milot. It is the largest fortress in the Americas and was designated by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1982—along with the nearby Sans-Souci Palace. The mountaintop fortress has itself become an icon of Haiti. The Citadel was built by Henri Christophe, a key leader during the Haitian slave rebellion, after Haiti gained independence from France at the beginning of the 19th century” (Wikipedia). It is amazing how this fort was built centuries ago with mainly man power. Imagine the hard toil that went into carrying material all the way up to the mountain. A lot of people died due to injuries while building this fort. The fort was built to keep the newly independent Haiti safe from future French invasions. The French never tried to invade but had they tried, they would have suffered a huge defeat.
I actually have to stop writing. The electricity power just went off and out generator isn’t working and my computer battery is weak. I will post pictures of the trip soon.
Bonjour! I finally have something to write about work. During the first week, I was getting used to the place, so I did not really do much work. But this past week, I did quite a bit, and now I have an idea of what I’ll be doing for the rest of the summer.
My main job is defined in the internship title: Admin/Accounting Intern. I have been assisting the chief accountant of the company, Manutech, with her job. The accounting is mainly done using a software called SBT. Last week I entered payroll information, petty cash entries, customer invoices in the system. I also assisted in paying the indirect labor. For the first time, I counted and distributed $14,300 in cash! However, the work that I did which Dr. Howe, my accounting professor, would be proud of was consolidating the financial statements for the month of May.
Manutech has three subsidiaries: 2 in the U.S. and one in U.K. In essence Manutech owns all these companies (fully-owned subsidiaries), and so the financial statements have to reflect information of all 3 companies. It gets a little tricky in such a situation. For example, Manutech sells manufactured electronic products to Magnelab in Colorado, US. Magnelab sells these products to its customers. So initially Manutech records the sale of products to Magnelab as revenues on its income statement. But if you think about it, since Manutech owns Magnelab, the actual sales are the ones that Magnelab makes. So, at the end of each month, while consolidating the income statement, Manutech takes out the initial sales recorded and replaces it with the sales amount made by Magnelab. This is a very simple example of consolidation. Right now, we have a $310 difference in the Intercompany account. My goal this week is to find where that difference is coming from.
Apart from bookkeeping accounting, I am helping one of the managers come with better system to keep track of the inventory. I am also working on the company website. The product search page is broken. Thanks to CIT, I know how to fix the broken database.
Trust me, I also have fun at work. I have gotten to know some people in the office whom I often chat with. I have also been working on my French/Creole!
Lychee! I tried this fruit for the first time today, and it’s super delicious! Maiah, the other intern, thinks that they look like plastic strawberries :)
Image taken from Google Images
Haitian food consists mainly of rice and brown bean sauce. Wikipedia says that seafood is very common in Haiti. This would make sense since Haiti is an island. However, seafood is actually very scarce here. In fact, it’s quite expensive. There is no large scale sophisticated fishing done in Haiti. The majority of sea food brought on the island is result of simple small boat fishing done by the locals.
I have had the opportunity to try both the local and non-local food at the house I am staying at. Honestly, food is one of my favorite experience so far. We have family dinners everyday. A glass of wine with dinner is very normal at the house. After dinner fresh local mint tea with some kind of desert just makes it a classy dinner. I tried the traditional rice and bean sauce and it was very delicious. Haiti is abundant with fruits. You can see them being sold at every corner of the street. Mango, guava, grapefruit, papaya, bananas, and pineapple are some of the more common fruits you’ll see. There is this fruit, I forget the name, which is tasteless by itself, but is flavored and used in a lot of dishes. I’ll post the name soon. Also the bread here is amazing. They come in a lot of different sizes. You will see breads from a normal size (sandwich bread in the U.S.) to breads that are 3-4 feet long. It’s crazy!
The traffic in Port-au-Prince, Haiti is crazy. The roads have huge potholes; there is not really a lane system. The motorcycles squeeze through two parallel cars, sometimes even the rare sidewalks. But people still get around; I haven’t seen an accident yet. I am thinking that Haiti is a good place for me to prepare for my driving test that I’ll be taking in August. The factory where I intern is about 20 minutes without traffic. With traffic? Well, it depends when you leave the house. The first day we left the house at 7:30am; we got to the office at 9:00am. The second day we left at 6:30am; we got to the office at 7:45am. On Friday we left the house at 6:00am; we got to the office at 6:40am. So I guess if we were to make it to the office in 20 minutes, we’ll have to leave the house at 5:00am. I think I’ll pass on the 5am drive :)