of Puppies and Rain and bank reconcilations

There is a shortcut from behind my house on a path that runs along the
river. Where this path meets the road is the house of my neighbor, Elliot,
and his family. Elliot is a detective with the police here. And they are one
of the few families here that treat their dog like a pet. One morning, when
I was walking to work, his wife and daughter and a friend were by the house
doing some work and laughing and laughing (which is pretty unusual here). I
looked over and the daughter had dressed the dog in a pair of shorts and a
t-shirt. It was hilarious.

One day after that, I was walking by the house and the dog started growling
at me as if I were trespassing or something which seemed strange since it
had never happened before. Then a week or so ago, I was walking by and the
whole family was there, including the dog and. . . puppies! Oh my, they are
adorable. She had nine puppies sometime in January. So now they are old
enough to be moving around and fighting for food (8 teats, 9 mouths. . .).
Friday morning, I was going to work and the mother dog wasn't anywhere
around (nor was any of the family), but half the puppies were out on the
path and when they saw me they all came running and wagging their little
tails and jumping on me (up to my ankles – they are still very small).

Clearly God created cuteness as an evolutionary tool. Puppies, kittens –
they are adorable and they just make you want to take care of them. I mean,
I have no need for a dog, I wouldn't know how to feed one here, what would
happen to it when I leave? But every time I see those puppies, I am swept
with a tremendous urge to pick one of them up and cuddle it and take it
home! So far, I'm managing to just enjoy the contact I have with them.

Rain, rain, rain. It has been raining a lot the last few weeks. It will rain
hard and long for a few days, then stop for a couple of days, as if the
weather needs to rest up a bit, then rain hard and long for a few more days.
Last week, it rained every day, nearly all day long. And I discovered a
really big downside to rain. No food. The entire week there was virtually
nothing in the market (Friday there were some sweet potatoes and on day
there were 2 or 3 bunches of greens). "Why?" I asked. Because no one can
(wants to) go to their farms in the rain. Harrumph! I can certainly
understand that. I mean, the main path is a muddy mess in the rain, I'm sure
that the paths to the farms are horrendous, and some even impassable. But
one bunch of greens a week does not come close to fulfilling the recommended
number of servings.

The Deputy Treasurer was supposed to do the bank reconciliations for the
last year, but he didn't get them done by the time of our minimum conditions
assessment. We run a serious risk of not qualifying to receive our
development grant this year because of this (well, in fact, we didn't pass
the assessment, but we might be able to redeem ourselves and plead for a
reprieve when the Committee meets in April). Both the Treasurer and I had
left him to do what we thought was a pretty straightforward task, but when
it didn't get done, I decided that I should do them, or at least do them
with him. So, he was working on June 2008. He put me off a couple of days
because he thought he could get it done. Then on Thursday he came and said
he was within $165 but could not get it to balance. So I took a shot and
wow, I see the challenge. I'm not sure how he got as close at $165 actually,
because I found $50,000 of discrepancies between the cashbook and the bank
statement. So practically every day now, I say to the Treasurer, "MYOB would
really help to solve xxx problem." (MYOB is the computerized accounting
system all the Provinces are going to move to, hopefully as soon as May or
June. I don't like the program at all – it is not at all intuitive – but ANY
computerized accounting system will be so much better than Excel
spreadsheets.) Actually, you can create a pretty robust and sophisticated
accounting system using Excel. And it can work pretty well if your
accounting department is one or two people (who get along). But in a
department of 7 or 8 people at wildly varying levels of computer knowledge,
it's way too open to work. Like, someone reconciled April and May, but since
then, the Cashier has found all sorts of errors in her Cashbook, so she
started at the beginning of the fiscal year (April) and has been correcting
all the errors. That's a good thing. Except the bank reconciliations for
those two months were already done. So now, I have worked and worked and my
accomplishment? June is now out of balance by the same amount as May is out
of balance. Good for June. Bad for May. Oi vey. A little technology, like a
little knowledge, can be a dangerous thing, and the combination can be
deadly. . .

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About Seth Longacre

primal health coach, vision fast guide, itinerant discalced Episcopal Deacon, barefoot runner, photographer, spiritual director, yoga teacher, minimalist, pilgrim
This entry was posted in Africa. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to of Puppies and Rain and bank reconcilations

  1. Linda Grace says:

    would love to see a photo of those puppies when your camera arrives

  2. Helen says:

    I’d love to know how ti use Excel properly!

  3. Tracy Longacre says:

    Hoping the camera comes on the plane today (then I can get it Monday when the Post opens).Ah, Excel. Well the real trick if you’re using it as an accounting system is that you need to know accounting and follow the rules and just use Excel like a ledger (though it can be pretty darn powerful). The trick — only enter anything ONE TIME and split up the information so you can run reports (like, if you have accounting codes that mean something — like the dept is embedded in the code, then split the code up and you can get reports by dept). . .

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