Saturday, January 18, 2014

So I went to mail a letter

I recently went to the post office to mail a letter to my grandpa to find the tariff to send it (aka stamps) is up to 8.85. A week ago, it was 6.60. And when I came to country, it was 5.80.

Let's not talk about the tax I have to pay to get a package (went from 5 to 10 to 25).

It's not that these fees are crazy. Actually, yes they are. The price hike is huge. But I can afford it. I don't know what habasha in Huruta can. Two bir can buy a week of carrots. Or most of a pen for school. That's a bit more important than sending letters.

Not that letter writing is common here. Many people can't write at all. To the point that the post office is where you go to pick up your social security money, because it's the only government office with the empty course load that can serve a bunch of people once a month.

Anyway, it's been interesting, and slightly scary for the people I know, watching inflation rise here. Food is more expensive, as is school supplies, fridges, clothes, any sort of appliance, and I wouldn't be surprised if utilities – sparse as they can be – have risen too.

It's awoken a strange desire to study economic in me. But I also blame Sloan for that.
(The Newsroom awakes so many desires, period.)

But as I sit here, watching prices rise and see so many people already struggling, I can't help but wonder if maybe having PCVs in the Education system here isn't the best idea. It's not like my trainings are well attended. And my English club? Let's be honest, most of those kids will never have a need to speak English. But teaching people how to save money and budget, how to eliminate waste, employable skills like computer training or project design. Those are the things that will make a difference.

So, I'm proud to say I have a Women's Day Project in the works, pairing girls who failed the 10th grade exam and are now essentially stuck in the house until they're married and then stuck in a different house, with successful women in Huruta to help them become self-sufficient. I'll let you know how it goes.


Annalisa Crawford said...

That sounds like a great project. It must be even more worrying if you don't have the skills to help yourself.

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