What went well?
The progress I made; what was achieved and done
I tried to live up St John Bosco’s maxim - “strived to be loved”. By doing so, for me is to be “one of them”, i.e., to act like a local, read local news, speak the local languages, greet in the local way, etc. Show that I am genuinely appreciate their history, culture, and traditions. Senegal has become more welcoming to me after all. I felt like that I met more friends and earned their trust; and that gives me a sense of purpose here.
What could have been done differently?
Things that did not get done and/or could be changed
Sometimes I get very exhausted because of long road trips and switching between different languages at work. I think it would probably be a better idea to take more rest.
What did I learn about myself when working with others?
Contributions, behaviours and values I exhibited
When working in a new cultural environment, it is important to adapt to new norms and practices. What applies in Hong Kong does not necessarily apply here. It is challenging but essential to integrate into an entirely new working environment.
What did I learn about leadership?
Leadership attributes and insights I developed
To be a leader is to inspire. For me, it is to set a role model. The language barrier will not go away automatically, but it at least requires me to take the initiative to narrow it down.
What do I want to develop or focus on next?
What I still need to develop
Let me try if I can communicate better in French and Wolof. Learning two languages at the same time is of course not easy.