The new Cocobagh training unit is really starting to look impressive.
Whilst the building is still very much an empty shell, our motivation to get this project up and running is back. It’s amazing how easy it is to get deflated when things don’t move quite as quickly as you hope for, especially when you can’t help but look at the project through ignorant western eyes.
We’re slowly learning that workers in India have very different priorities from many of us here in Europe. And that’s ok.
The religious festivals are far more important than the financial rewards of going to work. I’m reminded of just how many time here in the UK we get angry or frustrated by any obstacles that keep us away from our desk – where essentially we’re making money. Trains strikes; snow and bad weather; even our own health becomes an imposition if it threatens to keep us away from the daily grind.
On reflection, it’s this project which is teaching me all about balance. We can weald all the pressure in the world for our builders to get on and complete the project but it will always come second to family, community and the many ‘Pujas’ (or religious festivals) that happen throughout the year. This is what we’ve come to respect and enjoy about working in India, however managing our own expectations is proving critical.
Then there’s the weather.
The rains came quite early this year. By the time we’d finished the outer skeleton structure of the building, closely followed by the festival season, we’re nearly 6 months behind schedule. We’re continuing of course, but progress is very slowly. To be honest, it seems incredibly slow. We’re just reminding ourselves that this is a large undertaking with longer term goals, plus the production facility has to continue producing throughout the building phase – bag business is going well but we need to ensure that production continues to build it. The more bags we sell the more we can invest in this project so we concede that not all focus can be diverted to the project building.
All the cliches like “don’t run before you can walk” and “patience is a virtue”and “Rome wasn’t built in a day” come to mind at least 5 times a day.