Monday, January 25, 2010

TIA-This Is Africa!

Alright! Finally I can rant and you will HAVE to read it! ;-)

I decided that before I post my serious post I will tell you some of the frustrating but at the same time funny things I had to deal with last week.

My Week One of classes kicked off with my internet going down for two and a half days! Meanwhile my classes could not wait and I had comments to post in some of them. So, I embarked on an “internet hunt!” I called friend after friend and no one had internet. One of them said that his probably worked but he had no way of telling because his power had been out all day long! Finally I got one friend with dial up and decided since I did not have to take a test I could try my luck with it! It took me 30 minutes to get to the “User Login” page!!! About that time my other friend called to tell me that his power and internet were up and running so I better come fast before they disappeared again. I ran there like a scalded dog and finally posted my comments!

Another story took place in a bank I have been doing business at for the last 6 years! Every month when I come in to cash the Mission’s check for the staff salaries, the bank makes me wait about 30 minutes to check my identity as if it’s the first time they have ever seen me! On Friday I was standing there, waiting for them to finish up with their check and the branch manager came up to greet me, “Hello Mrs. Thiesen!” Why in the world am I going through this identity check every single month when everyone there knows me by face and name?

Banking here is something to behold! The other day my husband went to see a friend of his who is also working on his doctorate. This friend printed one of the chapters for Mark to show him what he was working on. When Mark offered to pay for the paper the friend laughed and showed him the back of the pages on which the chapter was printed. He printed it on the back of bank statements! Then he told Mark a story of how his bank would not send him his monthly statements. One day this friend went to see the manager and told him that he really needed his statements! So, for the next 15 months he got 1 bank statement every single day! One can actually follow his financial history on the back of this printed out chapter!

Don’t get me wrong, I love living in Africa but at times it really tests my sanity. Things like those described above seem petty and unimportant but when they build up, they can drive one up the wall! From time to time I get together with my friends and we nag, rant, and complain about things here. We usually end up laughing insanely at the situations we find ourselves and at the end of these “sessions” feel much better. There is a line from a movie “Blood Diamond” that was used every time something went wrong. TIA- This Is Africa! :-)


  1. I think that you have such an interesting life and I absolutely love reading all of your blogs! I feel that it is difinitely a necessary part of life to just let it all out. Rant and rave all that you need just keeps us sane once in a while. I even find myself just screaming to a wall sometimes. My children look at me like I am! I hope that you don't have any internet problems again, and good luck this semester!

  2. I love hearing about all that yu have to go thru while you are living in Africa. I am so glad that you are doing well with all of the hardships that you have to endure while you are living there.