Cash Mule

by Dual Income No Kids on January 25, 2007 · 0 comments

You’d be surprised at the amount of money you could spend in a developing country! As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts about my trip to the DRCongo, everything is expensive.

The good news is that I walked away about $15,823 lighter after paying off expenses for the telecentre that our project funds. You can imagine that walking around a dangerour country with that kind of cash doesn’t make you feel very safe.

As for my personal finances, I came here with $3,500 in cash and am close to being out of money. I’ve also managed to spend money an additional $800 on my credit card at the second hotel that we had to move to. As it is, with the delay by a couple of days in coming home, I’ll be just about out of cash when I return. Part of this was pre-planning, but part of it was just luck.

It’s amazing how easy it can be to run out of cash in a place like this. One delay or change and you could be stuck with no money left. For instance, original we considered that we might have to charter a flight, so that is why I had brought more money. Then we didn’t have to charter a flight, but the hotel we stayed at didn’t take a credit card as I had been told. I laid down $1,700 in cash upon departure.

The colleague that I’m traveling with did run out of money last time, and had to borrow from local people. Not a good situation to be in. As it is, she was also surprised by the fact that the hotel doesn’t take credit cards. Luckily her French business partner is coming as I leave and will bring extra cash.

Their third business partner, Canadian, was giving English lessons to the French guy. “The word in English is ‘mule’. You will be Laura’s cash mule.” What are friends for?

The crazy thing is that if I had more money I would have spent more on project related activities. As it is I’ve had to request project funds to be wired out to our field account.

I’ll post pictures of cash transactions once I can find a chance. Enjoy!


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