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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2007-11-03 21:54:24
Subject: Focus Factor

    I am trying to keep focused on the task of launching the hardware store, which is constantly in need of something. Right now they need some more materials to build the displays as well as a few more important stock items (wood screws, electrical wire). It's especially hard to focus on this with the other things we have going on here including talk about a restaurant. I am committed to get the store working and profitable before we think about starting any new ventures. Of course, the main holdup is finding honest, capable people that can oversee a business.    All of this reminds me of our mission here. We need to train/teach integrity and morality. That doesn't sound easy does it? To me it sounds near impossible unless we raise a child from an early age. It's certainly more difficult trying to train an adult.  The only source I know of for this is the Bible. Discipling and fellowship with other believers is also a must. So many times we turn our back or step away from the farm for a short time, only to find that things have been taken without asking or work was not done that was paid for. Jose, our hardware store manager, was trustworthy when I met him. He has also been trained as a pastor. His wife is also a great help as she used to be an accountant in a large hardware store in San Pedro Sula. Unfortunately, I've not met anyone else like them. Monday we will have to confront some employees about using work time to gather their own firewood (free of charge) during work time. I'd make a horrible manager because I do hate confronting adults when they act like children.     As for the restaurant, we've been speculating on what we serve there for at least a year. Only recently has it become visible on the horizon after we found one of our favorite local restaurants available for rent. Thankfully, we were able to train Xiomara some American style cooking fairly easily (we would not have time to work there while raising the boys). I don't think training the cooks will be difficult. I believe "comfort foods" would be the best style for us to pursue. You know: chicken fried steak, chili, BBQ, mashed potatoes, soups of the day, salads, fresh baked bread and rolls. There are a lot of missionaries and retired Americans living in our area. It would also be a novelty to have some authentic American food here FOR A CHANGE. We've been practicing a lot recently. Our family and the boys are enjoying the recent change in our menu.  It looks like the biggest investment in a restaurant will actually be an expense (rent). Other than that, I don't think we'll need as much investment as it took to stock a hardware store. This would be another opportunity to bless a family with a business to manage and another revenue stream for the home and local ministries. Anyway, I'm trying not to think too much about this until the hardware store is on solid ground, LOL.     There is a lot of room to grow the hardware store and business. Our vision is to open these stores up in a lot of unserved areas. There are hardware stores on every block in town, but people out here have to ride the bus to get there. It ain't easy hauling cement, re bar and tin roofing materials on a bus! We will also be trying to figure out what to sell at the store and growing our selection monthly. I certainly see a distribution and wholesale center eventually. Wholesalers are so poorly run here. Customer service is dog slow. You'd think a warehouse employee could gather 50 boxes of screws in two hours. By the way, as Porter Briggs likes to remind me, if you begin your sentence here with "You'd think", you might as well not finish the sentence because logic is a little different here. :-)     Education is heavy on our hearts right now. The older boys are really struggling at school. The local elementary school in no way prepares them for high school. There is no control or order in the classroom. On a daily basis I wish I could be the vice principal there just to boot the 3-4 kids out of the school that make education impossible for the other 150. There is a little bid of a greed factor or catch-22 for the teachers. I've heard it said that if a child does not pass, the school does not get paid for that student. So, teachers pass the students on through regardless of their study habits or lack thereof. We are strongly considering pulling Fernando out completely and schooling him at home with paces like they use at Ruach School in Comayagua. However, we really need to hire a teacher. David also needs this because he missed three years of school and had no business passing sixth grade this year. He did not pass seventh grade this year and will have to repeat.      Catfish or Tilapia? What do you think? I recently found that they do sell and raise catfish here, but that Tilapia is the preferred fish. Tilapia is a little more difficult to raise though. I myself am a little partial to catfish and I do think some local Americans might find it a "comfort food".
Replies to this message
re: Focus Factor  by Mike Jones on Monday November 05, 2007

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