After breakfast, I was picked up by Albert who was tasked with driving me on my errands. First stop was the fancy hotel across from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church where we got a new SIM card for my iPhone 5s that afforded me 24 minutes of international calls for 50¢, 2 gigs of internet data, 3 days of free local calls, credit for more local calls/texts, plus my phone could work as my internet connection for my laptop (aka “hotspot”). All is working well.
We visited Eagle Electric (at two different locations) and spoke with Jimmy Eid, the boss man who Jim Foster suggested we contact. He’s very willing to give us a generous discount (10-15%) and offer us payment terms to wire money from the US to pay invoices. He even offered to have us take supplies we might need with us right then and he’d set up the account later. Using the Foster’s name made an immediate connection, gave us credibility, and allows us to have confidence they’re business has a good reputation. I went through a list of items (zinc corrugated roofing, rebar, PVC pipe, fittings, carbolyn wood preservative, toilets, etc.) to get pricing so I can fine tune the construction budget. They were very helpful and let me walk through the back warehouse with them.
Our next stop was at International Aluminum Fabricators (IAF) to look at windows. They custom size all windows per our requirements and deliver in 2-3 weeks. Quality looked good, pricing seemed fair (they also offered a discount when we mentioned the school project…actually I think bargaining is part of the culture), and they had just what I wanted.
Traffic in Monrovia was rather hectic today, I needed to make several phone calls to arrange meetings, and Rev. Isaac Dowah (my friend from last year’s trip who accompanied me and President Yeadon) called to invite me for dinner around 3:30 so we got back to the LCL compound mid-day. After my calls, I attempted to take a quick nap around 2:00 but, again… a tap at my door to let me know food was prepared. I thought only breakfast had been arranged so here I was having rice, potato greens, fish, and papaya (paw paw) an short time before heading out for dinner. I courteously ate another meal prepared by Evelyn…well only a very small portion of it. Albert drove me to Isaac’s and we sat having a beer on the porch while catching up. His girlfriend, Christine, prepared the meal of…yes, rice, potato greens, and chicken. The home was actually Christine’s (Isaac lives in another apartment) but they have discussions of marriage so Isaac likes to call it his home also. Christine is an elementary teacher and we had a good discussion about our school plans and her teaching experiences. I asked if I could visit her classroom so I’ll be going there Monday afternoon to see her in action as a teacher and meeting with her school headmaster to pick both of their brains.
On the way home around 6:30 it started to rain and I experienced the worst traffic gridlock in my life (worst than NYC)…the cars in the left lane crossing in front of the right lane, then driving on the opposite side of the road until complete dead stopped gridlock. It took 3 policemen to unscramble the intersection while cars continued to drive in the opposite lanes.