Oct 17, 2007

Wed, Oct 17: Progress on the Office

Yesterday we had converted most of our US dollars into Kenyan shillings and put them in the bank. This morning we managed to sell the balance of our clean, crisp $100 bills. Then we went to the office with me carrying an old white plastic shopping bag filled with our stack of 1,000 KES bills because we planned to do major shopping in the afternoon.
We unpacked everything we had delivered to the office yesterday and then headed out for lunch. I thought I had the money in my purse but, when we got to the restaurant, it wasn't there. It turned out it was safe and sound inside the locked office behind the locked door to the storage room. We are buying lots of things and paying laborers, etc so we expect to spend most of this last bit of money in the next two days but we may put a portion of it in the bank first thing tomorrow just to be on the safe side!! (Due to the very high fees banks charge businesses in Kenya, the foundation has a savings account but not a checking account and you can't get out of a bank in under 2 hours - really.)

We ate lunch today at a restaurant next door to the Nakumatt in Meru. The menu had a huge selection and almost all the items were non-Kenyan. Fridah got a club sandwich. Katie got Mexican food. Our British friend Joanne, who is working as a volunteer for a year at the Meru Children's Home, was delighted to order a pizza. Only I ordered classic African food - meat samosas - and they were great. Then we shopped for office supplies, bottled water, a door mat and other items for the office.

We brought Joanne home with us and she stayed for dinner. Steven had to go to Nairobi today to get a part for one of his BIG trucks and stayed in Nairobi over night. So we had a "girl's night in" centered around praising Alexia who is sitting up on her own now.

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