Archive for August, 2009

It has been an extremely busy past 2 months for me. I resigned from my lovely Treasury Analyst position in the US of A, packed up, eeehh, tried to pack up the past 5 and ½ years in a few packages and got ready to relocate, ran around with my sister to get ready for her wedding day, attended a WONDERFUL, the most awesome wedding I have attended in my life and watched my sister get married to a wonderful man then got on a flight and began my 30 hour journey to Kenya. I slept a lot on the way and I made a note to myself to make sure I get richer real soon to avoid flying coach on such long journeys 😀

I will blog about some specifics of all these events later – soon – hopefully. For now I want to talk about my woes trying to use my MasterCard Debit Card in Kenya.

Last time I was in Kenya, I did not have to use my card extensively because for one I was there for only 3 weeks and secondly I had carried some USD with me that I exchanged on arrival. The one time I used my card in Kenya, it worked like a charm ( In Nakumatt) – so I assumed I was going to have the same smooth sailing experience this time around.

I had only about USD 200 on me when I arrived in Kenya, that I exchanged for Ksh and with what I am working on right now ( I will also blog about that soon hopefully), that really didn’t last me for long. So I run out of Ksh and I go to a Bank and try to get some money from an ATM using my MasterCard Debit Card. ( My Visa Credit Card – ( I only have one credit card since I refused to get sucked into the fiscal irresponsibility that we tempt ourselves into by having cards we do not need). So my Visa Credit Card is paid off every month and since I am going to be around for a while – I am not intending to put any balances on it – that is how I planned it period!) – Well long story short, after a trip to Barclays, Stanchart, KCB, NBK etc, I was still Ksh-Less! At one of the aforementioned banks they simply told me “we cannot allow you to use our ATMs” – How rude! And, they didnt even give me the option of getting Ksh via Cash Advancing my Card!

One very nice and helpful young man at NBK and a college buddy of mine via Face book directed me to Southern Credit Bank (they deal with MasterCard) and well – I am thankful to them…. 🙂

It made me really consider being a MasterCard Rep to Kenya – Why aren’t our Banks multifaceted and deal with multiple card companies? Seriously – there is nothing special about Visa – or maybe Visa has just done a good job of branding their image in Kenya. Plus now I will have to get used to carrying around wands of cash! I know that we are yet to get to being a cash-less society – but this little experience made me realize just what vast avenues we have yet to address in our financial markets! Such exasperation, such little annoyances that really could be deterring vast potentials out there!

Other issues irritating me are PEOPLE NOT KEEPING TIME! . Anyone that knows me, knows I am always on time! At work in the US of A, I am the one that would get to meeting rooms and call people still at their desks running late for a meeting!

Last week I had a breakfast meeting scheduled with a person helping me out with some of the things I am working on. The meeting was supposed to be at 8am because I had other things to attend to as well on that day. You can imagine my HORROR when he calls me at 915am telling me he is on his way – and finally showed up at 1030am! Gosh! SO, I had to get on the phone and begin canceling most of my other engagements for that day!!

SO right now, I have a bout of Malaria going on – I have been feeling crappy since Sunday – so I might not be very lucid and a little grouchy typing this…Hehehe! But I guess that’s why they call it acclimatization!!! I intend to get well real soon because I have a lot of things to get done!

That’s all for today – Happy goings!


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