Time for an update on all the rest beside the land purchase:
Keeping on blogging
Got a new job which means more money to invest in the Ivory Coast, but less time to blog. Posts will probably be less frequent and mostly on weekends going forward, but I have no intention of abandoning blogging.
The tax officer got back to me via his yahoo.fr email, but only to confirm reception. Not sure what happens next.
I have asked the taxi manager to provide bi-weekly updates by email, and I got the first one, but only after calling him about it four times. Calls to the Ivory Coast are very expensive so I’m hoping he will start doing it by routine from now on. The manager says he had a skype account but that he cant get it to work. Unfortunately, I never had time to help him with that.
Anyhow it’s amazing how modern IT-technology helps in running a business in West Africa from Europe. 20 years ago much of what I’m doing would have been inconceivable – for example, there were no cellphones 20 years ago, and very few people had landlines so you couldnt reach people. And both faxing and calling to landlines was very expensive and marred by poor quality and unreliability. Actually, even 10 years ago things would have been difficult. The SAT-3/WASC fibre optic submarine cable wasn’t yet operational meaning there was no cheap broadband and little internet penetration. At that time the taxi manager probably wouldn’t have had an email address, and the Ivorian bank I’m using didn’t have internet banking. The latter is really handy by the way – the taxi manager has a bank office close to where he works so he puts the taxi cash there, and I can see it coming in straight away and access it via a visa card.
There are news from the house in Cocody too. The tenants moved out and took everything they had added to the house with them, leaving it in a quite bare state. So I had to undertake some work to put it in order, like re-painting it, installing lamps, mirrors, a kitchen sink, a water heater and a few other things. I had to go back to Europe in the middle of these works, but it turns out it is possible to keep the works going from a distance. The land surveyor is overseeing the works, and then the real estate agency checks in from time to time and sends photos of the progress. And that’s without me asking about it – they are really great.
The works on the water heater arent actually done yet, even with the walls and being in a good neighbourhood, the heater needs to be in a steel cage for protection against theft. The theft risk became quite real when I noticed that somebody had hacked away on the concrete on the outside of the wall to steel the interphone.