Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hedging the USD

With the declining value of the Dollar I decided to put my money into Swazi assets, in the form of a red 1998 Toyota Corolla.

One of the most annoying and frustrating things over the past few weeks has been relying on others to get around. TechnoServe has helped by providing a driver to take me to and from work, and by supplying a shared rental car for the volunteers, but there’s always been the daily grind and negotiation about what time the volunteers would leave the office, who would have the car overnight, and how we’d make it in to the office the next day.

Having my own vehicle will make life easier and much more independent. Need to stay late at the office to get out a couple of emails after the golf game? No problem. Miss the volunteers’ weekly trip to the supermarket? Not stuck eating delivery pizza. Spontaneous weekend trip to Mozambique? Let’s go.

The Corolla’s the first vehicle I’ve owned, and the third I’ve purchased. (The first two were 15-passenger vans I bought for Bike & Build – one in person and one off of Ebay.) When I went car shopping about a week ago, I brought TechnoServe’s driver Kiki with me to help check out the cars. I looked at a banana yellow two-seater Mazda convertible – which would have been awesome – but settled on the practicality and resale ease of a Corolla. After a test-drive, Achmed, who sold me the car, popped the hood and it looked like everything was in order. We negotiated a bit, and when I convinced him to throw in a second set of keys, we struck a deal.

I think it’s appropriate that the car have a name, and under Swazi law I have three weeks to decide on something. Leading candidates so far are “506,” “King Mswati III’s Royal Corolla,” and “The Red Rhino.”

I haven’t posted in a bit as I’ve just gotten over a bout with African Tick Bite Fever and spent a good deal of the early part of the week in bed. The good news is that I’m practically all better, and have boosted my African street cred a notch.

1 comment:

David said...

I definitely agree that the car should have a name. My first car, my parent's Chrysler, was called Theresa the Tank, but was affectionately known as Tessie. I like the name Red Rhino, but how about Red Romper. To romp means to frolic in a lively manner. Let me know what you think.

Now that you have a car, please don't go too far off on your own. Thanks for listening.