R.I.P. MTN

3-11-10

Today we filled out applications for a potential group of recipients. The women came in yesterday wanting a loan, and we told them what they needed to provide us, not thinking they would come back so soon. So today we were caught off guard. After calling Hayford to find out what we were supposed to do, we pretended that we knew what we were doing and collected their information. I also conducted two more exit interviews of women that had finished. Laralyn took pity on me and helped to write their profiles. She got most of the details down, now it is up to me to polish it into something that will get people to donate money to VPWA.

In the afternoon Hayford went to talk to Madam Aisha which didn’t go very well. He told us that she was quite upset that one of our interviews had been misinterpreted. Apparently Lela (one of her group members) did indeed make a weekly profit, but Dorcas told me that she didn’t. Also, he spoke with her about our complaints in the classroom, which worried me about our next lesson.

In the evening we went to Coconut Grove Hotel for salsa dancing. Laralyn is a competitive salsa dancer, so it was her time away from Ghana and I went along for the ride. First, however, we navigated Circle at night (dangerous! Don’t do it unless you have to) to go to the bank (stupid, right?) and the store she bought her cell phone from (she bought a faulty phone with a 7 day warranty; the shop was closed) before making our way to the station towards the hotel. There we got a share taxi to the hotel, but in my haste to find money for the driver, I put my cell on the seat and got out, remembering it as he left yelling range. I loved that phone, and I really don’t want to spend another 30-40 GHC on one, but such is life I suppose (I tried calling, but he had switched it off… not a good sign). Needless to say, when we got to the hotel I was very angry, but my anger momentarily subsided because the kebobs there were AMAZING. I ate four over the course of the night with no shame. After a second Smirnoff, Laralyn became brave and went to an adjacent table to ask where the people there were from (they were speaking Spanish with an interesting accent) and found out they were from Cuba. Before I knew it we were pulling tables together and I was offered another kebob (yay!). In an hour or so I spotted Justine and Willan who were coming from his apartment with their friend, Alim, who was from Chad. The rest of the night we danced (my first time in Ghana) and ate and drank, and didn’t get home until 1AM.

Yeah…so tired.

Ghanaian Practical Travel Tip #68: If you purchase a cell phone abroad, be sure to lock the phone. This way if anyone tries to put their SIM card into it, it will not work without the lock code. I only found this out after losing my unlocked one…

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