Saturday, 23 August 2008

Independent Consulting/Cheaper Short-Term Housing in Accra

Some history is in order. 27 calendar days after hiyo siku, I signed a three month contract with an organization that does precisely what I had been looking for. A dream contract, if you may. Yes, prayers do get answered. I'd like to think they liked what I did after the three months juu they extended it for another five months till the last day of my OPT visa (allows you to legally work in the U.S. for a year after graduation). When the season came, I tried to persuade them to file for my H1-B (work) visa, even offering to pay for kila kitu including immigration lawyer fees. My immediate mdosi jaribud but word from huko mbele was that it's simply against the company policy. So I decided to do the jobo and have fun while at it. And fun it was. I loved the experience, met 'big' people, and even made a few important contacts for laters.

Sometimes before I left, ( my last day was a week ago) they floated the idea of sending me to Ghana to complete the final phase of the project. Bwana si I was excited. So the mpango right no is to get to Nai, work kiasi off-site, halafu go to Accra for like 2 months and then back nyumbani. Thing is, I am going as an independent consultant, that means sina benefits. Initially I thought it meant that I'm bila life and health insurance and the 401 (K) plan, but eventually as were talking it dawned on me that I'm gonna be meeting my housing expenses. Swali ni is this standard? If yes, anyone know of cheaper short-term living arrangement in Accra? Last time I was there, people talked of being required to pay a year's rent in advanced. If it turns out bad, shauri yako. I get to keep my daily U.S. rate lakini at the rates I saw for a decent hoteli two months ago, and with the Ghanaian cedi almost at par with the U.S. dollar, I would be giving way too much of my hard-earned $ to housing alone. I love the job, actually it has been my dream job, and I want to have been there a complete year. One way would be to work from Kenya till I absolutely have to be in Ghana. Help a woman out!

Thursday, 07 August 2008

Thirty is the New Thirty

I hit the big 3-0 this past Saturday. I can't quite remember how I felt a decade ago, so I can't say a thing about the 30 is the new 20 (age-escapism?) fad. I think that's one lie that's given people in their thirties an excuse to behave like they are in their early 20s.

Growing up, birthday celebrations were not a huge part of my life, until about 3 years ago when I came to the U.S. I have pictures from my first birthday celebrations, then life happened and that was about it as far as celebrations and associated records were concerned. Mum would occasionally make chapos to mark a birthday for one of us, i.e me, my siblings and youngest uncle who is two years older than me. Sometimes slaughter a chicken but other than that, no deliberately planned parties. Friends of mine celebrated my 23rd, then the 28th and the 29th when we hooked up later over here. The 30th goes without saying. Looking back, it looks like the past 30 were exciting. It sort of feels like I've lived several lifetimes (may be an exaggeration, but that's how I feel), from growing up in shags, going to boarding school, colle, stato and now excited about soon becoming a manzi/masa wa Nairobi. I even remember when death was such a big deal in my shags, then AIDS became common place and it was like "So and so died" "O, really? OK". People even started eating at funerals.

I looked for signs of aging on Sato. Other than one white hair that seemed to disappear as soon as I'd spotted it, I think I'm fwine. Looking forward to what the next 30 will bring. Baby siz's b/day is this week. Bro apparently came early and was born late July. May have some positive correlation with the fun of December. I thought of mentioning that to the concerned but we are old school.