Thursday, 29 April 2010

Just Give Me the Money!!!

So.. this afternoon I had some errands to do around town - all to do with banks!

With our personal account, the ministry accounts and the account of another organization, we are helping to distribute finances while they are out of the country - and then you double it as you then have USD and Rwanda Francs for each. Sounds crazy I know, but that is how it is.

Anyway... We're leaving for Izmir, Turkey on Sunday morning 3am, for the International Leadership Forum. Side note: We are over the moon as Serge got his VISA for Turkey AND his VISA for The Netherlands (he'll see his brother whom he hasn't seen for 9 years!) All this to say... I have a lot of work to do! I'm remembering how our President Neil Ostrander would say that... sorry, I digress...

Lots to do, so little time and I need to go to BANKS!! So... I head to the first one. VISA cash withdrawal for our April salary money. I go into the VISA office and I present my passport and VISA card. The teller then processes my amount and I sign... done... nope... haven't even started!!

So then his supervisor has to initial the papers, then he takes me from his office to a row of tellers. He submits my papers to her, she initials them, then she prints off another copy which is sent to her supervisor via a runner, and then the runner waits for the supervisor to sign it... he had someone in his office, so we wait... then it comes back, she prints off another copy, then she signs it, then I sign it and then I get my money. About 40 minutes later.

Then it's off to the next bank. I need to pick up a new cheque book, get some monthly bank statements printed as one never knows when they will come in the mail, and money from one of the accounts. We chose this bank in the first place as it has a numbering system - you get a little ticket coming in the door and at least you're in a line and few people will jump it. Trust me, my limit is about three line jumpers and then I about lose it, especially if I have the kids with me! God is still working on patience with me in certain areas!

So.. I go to the counter where I need to collect the new cheque book. I anticipate having to use my assertiveness as I don't have the little slip to claim it. Serge has it, but I need the cheque book now. So... I ask. The account number... in my cell phone, but my phone battery has died. SHOOT! Now I know my chances are nil... but to my surprise, he decides to look at the name for me and Voila!. There it is, he has it and he hands it over after I sign for it TWICE!! Go figure!

Now the guy I need to see about monthly bank statements is nowhere to be found. Another lady finds me and decides she can help. Come with me she says. I follow. Well... Rwanda is working on their customer service and for that I am grateful. President Kagame is ON people about this but it's always hard for people to learn new tricks right!? Well... a couple phone calls, some friends dropping by to chat in her office and who knows what else, I finally have my statements.

Now to get the money. I have my numbered ticket in hand and I am watching the board for my number to be called. Now, the teller I need to go to - Guichet No. 5 - has many people. I KNOW they don't all want USD. So I decide to be patient and wait. The teller forgets to use the numbering system, so I wait. Finally the way clears and she calls for the next number... it's not mine, but nobody is jumping up, so I do. Saving grace.. she asks how the kids are doing. I Know she remembers my kids as Beni has had a screaming fit in the bank because it was taking SO long... he was perfectly fine when we went in. Sigh...

So by now, I have spent about 2.5 hours in banks this afternoon.

Time to collect Serge from the office and head home. Had called a taxi to pick Prince from school as I just couldn't leave town without all the banking done. I am so grateful we have a couple of very reliable taxi drivers whom we can call anytime of the day to do a run for us. I came home to find the kids well. Good thing.

Then it was immediate dinner, bedtime routine and here I am. Must go. Serge is waiting to do some finance stuff. Should be fun at 10pm!

(What about ATMS you might ask... well, one of the banks is actually supposed to hooked up to the international system now but I think I have been about 6 times and it's worked twice. The odds are not in our favour... )

Enjoy your debit and credit cards people!!

We're heading to Turkey and Europe on Sunday for 15 days. Debit and Credit here I come! :-)

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