Money Updates from DRC

by Dual Income No Kids on February 14, 2009 · 0 comments

I’ve been mostly radio silent on the blog since I arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo nearly two weeks ago.

In the midst of the work that I’m doing for my job I have contemplated on topics to write about. To be honest, money seems like a far away concern at the moment.

During my time on the road I have faced severely malnourished children, mothers trying in vain to care for their closely spaced children, marauding armed factions, horrendous roads, lack of internet, electricity and water.

Like I said, money seems like a remote issue.

As I mentioned in my post last week, I need to work on reworking my budget. When I sat down to do so it proved harder than I had initially thought. I didn’t have current pay stubs with me. I didn’t have access to online accounts. I gave a half hearted attempt to consider my spending back in DC but knew that it would be better to base this on actual recent spending rather than wishful thinking. At this point I think I’ll just deal with the ambiguity of life here and deal with budgets once I’m back in Washington.

Here in DRC things are expensive. Lunch and dinner menus range from $12 to $18 for an entree. My per diem these days is $20 so I’m happy for the breakfast at the hotel and most often chose between lunch and dinner out. I certainly could afford to spend more if I wanted but it doesn’t seem worth my time. I did spend $4 on a package of my favorite Haribo peach gummy candy as a treat.

I’m also working on securing a guest house for our expats in country. With the recent crises in Goma this past October NGOs have flooded into town. This means that we got bumped out of our house to someone else willing to pay up front for several years. Now there is a severe shortage of houses and the prices have double since the crises hit. We are facing difficulties finding anything that might possibly meet our budget, security needs, and even half way decent. Wish me luck in finding something that fits the bill!

Other than that my main financial objective is to stop local staff from stealing, cheating, overspending, lying, and the like. I will also continue to work my magic in maintain my record of avoiding bribery attempts by border guards, police, and so forth. Wish me even more luck with that one!

Feel free to check out my personal blog for more on my adventures in DRC.



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