With People on My Mind



I don’t like conflicts ergo I don’t like conflictive people. They are at the bottom, people who cannot control themselves. I had rare rage bouts throughout my life and I am glad they were exceptional and I was able to take control of my volcanic feelings fast.


Don’t take this for kindness or think that because of it I am a trusting person easy to fool. On the contrary, I am not particularly kind and trustful. I had to develop a system to interact with people, based in establishing boundaries and learning to be attentive to other people needs.


My secrets to avoid conflicts in a country where they happen frequently (due to the extreme precarious social conditions) are: care, humanity, straightness and fairness.

Contrary to Paul, prone to easily fall into labor conflicts, I don’t have any I recall. In the two or three cases I had to be a little hard those people were so guilty that they just vanished for good.

Fairness is my number one quality in what concerns working relationships. To be able to be fair I have to be straight from the beginning by telling what I can give and what I expect.

Care and humanitarian approach come from intuition and perception. The only thing you really need is to be aware of other people, no matter how small they are – just like in the Horton’s movie.

In general terms Paul is kinder and giving than I but he always ends up in trouble because he doesn’t set boundaries. He is mainly a provider for urgent needs, such as sickness situations. I am more a provider for day-to-day needs and needs of the soul.

Giving an example, in April 7 there is a date celebrating the social role of Mozambican women. It’s so important that even I, a Portuguese expatriated, have been receiving flowers from local friends. The gesture of giving an extra something for cook Tieta and guards George and Albert was mine. Even though it was just a little something, you should see the sparkle in their eyes. George and Albert will buy a nice present for their wives and Tieta, with more reasons to celebrate, told me at once:’Vou comprar refrescos para celebrar!’ meaning, ‘I shall buy cold drinks to celebrate!’