Snippets

Every so often there is so much happening that I want to share little bits – snippets!

  • My chicken will be delivered on Wednesday
    • Seems that to get fresh chicken (dead and cleaned), you have to order it and get it delivered to your door
  • I wipe down my floors every morning. Then I close my windows. By evening when I get home there is a film of black dirt on everything. My feet are gross!
    • Took me almost two weeks to figure out to stop going barefoot and put on shoes – now it doesn’t bother me.
      • I do wipe down all surfaces again when I get back from work!
  • Ask an Uber driver about his car and he will say “It is a Pay to Buy”.  In other words, rent to own.  Can take more than 2 years to accomplish.  One go-getter said it took him only 10 months.
    • Made me wonder what else he was transporting!
  • I was happily making an omelet in my little kitchen (more later) when the last egg I cracked into the bowl dispelled a baby chick. I haven’t eaten an egg since.
    • It is even more traumatic than it sounds.
      • I threw out the 2 hardboiled eggs I had made the day before.
  • I had dinner in a DC-10 that was turned into a restaurant.  Pretty neat!

DC-10 restaurant

  • Best Friday morning text EVER? My landlord asked if I would be interested in having a trained therapeutic masseuse come to my apartment Sunday morning – 30 minutes for $9.00! OMG YES!!!
  • I hate ants. In Ghana, I am trying to be more compassionate. I figure they keep me honest.  Did I empty the trash at night? Did I wash the dishes and put them away? Did I wipe down the counters after a meal/snack/any activity food-related?
    • If any answer is “no”, the ants will let me know.
    • Then I kill them.
    • And I make sure there are all “yesses” to the above questions.
  • My little kitchen.

Little Kitchen

  • It’s generally just fine …but the height of the single burner is amusingly problematic.

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Thanks for reading – have a fun day!

Why to NOT bring your computer to work

Maybe I set myself up for this by even thinking about it.  My computer has everything in my life on it (should I be admitting that online??), but I can be a klutz.  It’s a disease I am managing, this klutziness.  I keep a sharp eye out for possible pitfalls, like uneven sidewalks, things sticking out from car roofs, posts that tempt me to walk into them…Over the years I have even trained myself not to catch a falling knife or put my hand in a running garbage disposal (the last is from personal experience…).

So lugging a computer back and forth from my apartment in Accra, Ghana to an Uber, into the office and back again, seemed fraught with danger.  But worse was the idea of having it stolen.  Lugging won.

NewTown
Streets of Accra

And then I dropped it.  On the second day.  In my apartment.  And I treated it like a knife – no stopping it.  I waited to assess the damage until I got to work, as it was tucked into my backpack-really, how bad could it be??

Great news, screen was intact and my computer started.  Bad news – the opening hinge was broken and it was pulling up the corner of my laptop.  CRAP!

By Thursday I knew the computer and I couldn’t go on like this. I confided in my next-desk seat mate, Kubra, who told me to go to IT (the org I am partnered with, Advans Savings and Loan, has all the mod cons). With trepidation and sweaty palms, I carefully took by wonky computer to them.  “Oh, we can’t fix that.” Crap. “But we can send it to a shop that can.”  YAY!   Wait, NO!!!    That’s got my life in it!!  Send it to some computer shop in Ghana?  Seriously?  I might be a klutz, but I am not stupid.

I handed over the computer, begging for its safe return.  Friday I would be visiting cashew farmers in the Volta Region, so I would pick it up on Saturday.  I started to hyperventilate.  Everyone chuckled in commiseration – at least, that’s how I decided to view it.

Saturday morning finally came – managing my anxiety levels over the past 36 hours had almost been effective –  and I made my way to Advans, hopeful that IT (whom I was assured would be there) had my fixed and unviolated computer.

The super nice security guard lady led me into the bank, informing me with a lovely smile that of course IT was not in today.  Whipping out my phone I called my contact and lifeline at Advans, Samuel, who knew all about this stuff.  I gave the phone to the Advans bank teller, and lots of conversation ensued. She closed her window (much to the dismay of the other clients) and led me to the back office. To a desk that had a hidden key that unlocked a secret cupboard.  And my computer!!

I started it up to make sure it really WAS my computer and functioned – YAY! Hinge fixed, and seemingly unviolated, I silently sent apologies to everyone everywhere for my doubts and anxiety. A well-deserved coffee was in my very near future, and I headed out with the backpack confined to my back with both straps.

I will be looking for a secret cupboard of my own on Monday.

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Everyone has a story

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”

 

Everyone has a story. The last time I posted a blog was in 2014 and I was living in Cambodia. Now I’m on a new adventure and thought some of you might be interested in how the life of a 50-something can morph – the life of a getting-older dog learning lots of new tricks!

Where have I been?

My Global Health Fellowship with Pfizer in Phnom Penh “wrecked me”* me for corporate America.  I tried going from positively affect a country’s birth spacing and health issues as a GHF to trying to convince a doctor that Viagra was a better choice than the other ED meds.  Talk about a letdown!!

I tried to get into the swing of things by trying to introduce a US Health Fellowship within Pfizer.  I mean, so many Pfizer reps and employees wanted to help and give of themselves but couldn’t leave family for months on end.  So why not give the USA a boost and put Pfizer employees to work in their own back yards?  Got as far as submitting a budget, but it fell through.

In 2015 I went on another volunteer trip to Ghana with Adanu (been on two prior to Cambodia, they helped cement my love for Nonprofit ideals and values), and at the end of the trip I was offered a job to help run their Friends of Adanu organization in the US – from my home!  I jumped at the chance (after I mopped up my tears of gratitude), and that’s where I was for 2 ½ years.

The job finished up, and earlier this year I started job hunting – from my new state of residence, Rhode Island.  I had become interested in the idea of lending money to folks who were financially excluded from banking because they were poor.

Donors, I truly love every one of you, but really, is it sustainable?  What if…people learn to save and manage their own money so they could make their own plans to benefit their own lives? What about empowering versus charity?  Adanu was on the absolute right path, and I wanted to push it further.

In early April, a friend in Rotary (yep, I’m a Rotarian now!) mentioned Kiva during a phone call.  Being completely naïve, I looked up their website.  Six weeks later I had gotten the coveted Kiva Fellowship and was booking a flight to Ghana!

Everyone has a story. Mine begins here in Accra Ghana as a Kiva Fellow for the next six months. This blog will NOT be Kiva focused, but rather my trials, tribulations and the forever “What if…I can!” mantra while going in a new direction post-50 years old. Join me, comment, coach, throw ideas at me…and please be patient with me, I am still a newby and learning! (Coaching welcomed!)

Dinner, Gumby and a beer

First cooked meal – with advisor at hand!

*Shout out to Kimberly Cotto!