Contrasts within Bosnia and Herzegovina

Just today, I talked with a Bosnian native and he explained the economic structure from his point of view. When factories were privatized, several people bought up these companies but then merely sold their assets for a profit, depriving the local population of industrial occupations. Although factories are limited in number, they still exist in small pockets in the United States. I feel that this occupation is essential to developing work ethics and is also (and should be) complementary to the service industry that is expanding within our nation. Due to European Union regulations, the nation has a hard time exporting their goods. He mentioned that imports were around $5 billion while exports ranged from $1-2 billion. (I wish that the United States had such a low ratio of trade imbalance.) Skilled professions are a hot commodity yet their wage earnings are continually decreasing. He added that there needs to be a cap on the number of students that graduate in some of the ‘easier’ studies so that these students don’t flood the market and cause wage depreciation. I then mentioned how there are more lawyers in the United State who are saturating the market than there is a current need (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/business/law-school-economics-job-market-weakens-tuition-rises.html?pagewanted=all

The economy seems to be based on relations that one has maintained within upper circles while some occupations are intermittently “inherited” based on one’s connections. The golden key is to develop relations with people that hold power or can access it. Unfortunately, meritocracy does not hold true value here regardless of one’s experiences. Even if the students hold a Master’s degree, they have to possess those connections in order to move up the social and economic ladder. In order to bypass these conditions, they may have to possess a specialized degree that allows them to break through society’s glass ceiling and give them an improved sense of economic mobility. Although there is a high percentage of jobs obtained in the United States economy due to connections, jobs are still acquired based on work experience and corresponding activities that contribute to their progress. 

Within my internship, the speed at which we are operating is much slower than I would like. This seemingly sluggish pace and the leaders’ acceptance of this speed is initially driving me crazy. I would like to see some things accomplished this summer but feel that there may be only a limited amount of activities that are carried through to fruition. While they have overarching goals they would like to achieve, their concern within the past week seems to be based on day-to-day operations. I know that some planning needs to take place in order to hold some critical events so I may have to draft these ideas and present them intermittently, contingent on what is planned for the upcoming week.

Lastly, I was presently surprised by the optical industry within Sarajevo. One evening out with friends when the rain was horrendous, my futile attempt of attaching my prescription glasses to my necklace caused me to lose my glasses. I then was forced to visit an optician to buy a new pair of glasses. This fortuitous event allowed me to observe this sensational industry and realized the inefficiencies within my own nation. When I go to get my eyes checked in the United States, the exam takes at least twenty to thirty minutes followed by two weeks in anticipation of these optical lenses. The picture of the machine listed below is what I rested my chin on and within a sixty-second interval, the machine measured my near-sightedness. To my continual surprise, the workers crafted my lens in the back room in a matter of ten minutes. In the span of roughly thirty minutes, my eyes were examined, the lens were prepared, and I walked out with a new set of glasses. Impressive!

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One thought on “Contrasts within Bosnia and Herzegovina

  1. It’s funny, some certain things go very slow in BiH and others very fast.
    When I started working in BiH I got a bit (well, pretty much in fact) annoyed with the speed with things go along and that is still annoying me sometimes. But it’s just the way it goes here. And on the other hand, it’s supercool to notice how fast certain things can go, especially things like glasses or something- you don’t want to be too long without those. When I had to get some blood testing done in the hospital, I was so surprised that they had the results in a couple of hours. Where I lived before, you have to wait at least a few days before you get results.

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