Yesterday, I had all these great plans of doing some paperwork and working on my laptop. Instead I spent the afternoon cataloguing all my clothes. Not going to lie, it was totally worth it. So, today I woke up and decided – GET TO WORK.
I woke up around 6am and realized my allergies were bothering me. I sat around confused for a while. Waking up in Ghana is always interesting. During the rainy season it is cold in the morning, so normally I sit in bed for a few minutes and start thinking about how much I am going to dread that bucket bath/shower this morning. I also think – “maybe today is the day that ugly flat spider has decided to take a hike.” He’s been here for 3 months now, same spot. Disappears during the day, comes out in the evening. I’m starting to think I should name him, then buy some Raid. As I lay in bed contemplating the day before me, I normally wonder where the hell I am and why I always wake up on my stomach confused. I then run to the bathroom to pee and test the faucet to see if water is running.
Water wasn’t running when I woke up this morning, but by 7am it was on. So, while in my two yard with a towel wrapped around my neck, I quickly washed my dishes and refilled my water filter. Everything takes a backseat when water is running. I hop in the shower and prepare to have my heart stop.
Taking a freezing cold shower in the morning when it is breezy and about 70 outside is NOT FUN. I can’t tell you how many times I have screamed in that shower, gasped for air, and bounced around hoping the water would just be lukewarm. I quickly shower, while avoiding the really nasty looking spider in the shower, and run to my room. Today is basically a national holiday because of the President’s funeral, so there were a bunch of people in my compound and I wasn’t about to stand around chatting while I froze in a thin, white two yard.
Today I’m cooking for myself, aka not eating bankou, so I wasn’t so worried about how I looked. I threw on some clothes and pulled out my laptop.
Of course I checked facebook first, because that’s how I roll. I checked my email and saw that my mom got the package I sent! HOLY COW! It only took 9 business days to make it to America. Way to go Ghana! I answer/send some emails to my work partners. Then I check my super awesome to-do list, seriously if you saw this thing you would probably have me jailed for being way too organized and together. What can I say – my to do list keeps me sane. So, I check off a few items and decide today is dedicated to excel. Oh Excel, how I love thee. Let me count() the ways.
So I start putting together a database for the Cashew Union. The database is for tracking organic farmers within the Union. Organic farmers need to have not used chemicals and a whole bunch of other stuff for 3 years before they can be certified organic. This database is for tracking that and organizing all the paper forms farmers have to fill out. I wish I could have used Access, but alas – Student and Home version of Office doesn’t include that. DAMN YOU MICROSOFT, can’t a girl get easy access these days?! So, I had to do the database twice because my excel crashed while I was doing it – I saved it but before I decided to change the whole thing. I wanted to make it easier to create pivot tables, because obviously analyzing information with pivot tables is my second favorite thing after consuming copious amounts of chocolate.
After I completed the database, I started working on some honest to god accounting. Not only did I pull out my simplified accounting book, notes from my mom, but I actually had to think back to college. Why did I have to take accounting such a long time ago. Also, why didn’t I become an accountant, I kinda love this stuff. I needed to create a basic balance sheet and income statement for a non-farmer Ghanaian. I already had put together something for farmers, but farming is pretty unique when it comes to business stuff. Yes, it is all the same concepts, but trust me – it is completely different. Farmer accounting, I should teach a course on that. Oh wait, I do, sorta. So, my fellow PCV Rob called me asking for some accounting help for a guy he is working with. Ghanaians have a lot of loans, so the statements needed to be Ghanaian loan friendly. I put together a balance sheet and income statement example that hopefully is easy to understand. I literally had to rack my brain though and recall classes in college.
This didn’t happen today, but recently I helped a Ghanaian entrepreneur evaluate his business plan. I had to review his proposal, grammar, structure, accounting, marketing strategy, and growth strategy. I made recommendations, changes, and additions. The best part was thinking back to my degree and how I pretty much used everything I learned in college in the few hours I took to review his proposal. The marketing part was especially interesting to me, since I worked as an Account Exec before joining Peace Corps. His advertising strategy, scope, and target audience was totally off. Reviewing his proposal was probably one of the highlights of my service so far. Not only did I get to make a difference, but I got to use my previous job experience, degree, agriculture knowledge, and cultural knowledge to evaluate a project. I guess my life is complete now.
So back to today, after knocking out the organic database and accounting statements, I sent them off into the interwebs. Now I’m going to make some tortilla chips with lime. Later today I see a pot of spaghetti with sausage in my future. And probably more The Office episodes. And maybe I’ll do more work, maybe.