It seems like I am fighting an endless battle to get caught up on my blog posts. I have some video to show of Anthony getting more items that I need to get edited and share with you and I also have some items for Garrett. I saw him again today and agreed to meet him later to deliver the items but he wasn’t there when I returned. I’ll keep trying.
Other day I checked my wallet and I had seven dollars in it so I went to the ATM and retrieved $100. I then walked inside the bank and asked if I could get the twenty-dollar bills broken down into ten-dollar bills. I shared with Catherine the idea of the Year of Giving and she got so excited. “Ooh, I’d like somebody to give me $10!”
I left and headed home. I went back to the bank with my notebook and camera about three hours later to see if Catherine was still there. She was helping a customer and at first did not recognize me. “She can help you at the next window,” she said as I waited while she attended to her customer. I politely refused the help of the other teller explaining that I wanted to speak with Catherine. When my turn came, she looked at me and recognized me. She was so excited and ran around the other teller windows and came out on the left side to meet me. Her energy was contagious.
I discovered that 27-year-old grew up in Ghana. Her native language is Fanti, but she speaks perfect English in addition to speaking French and a Ga, another native language of Ghana. Nine years ago she moved to Akron, Ohio to pursue a degree in Political Science. Then in January she moved to DC to try to further her career; however it’s not been easy. “I can’t find anything related to my career,” she told me. She ended up accepting a job at the bank in order to pay her bills. Her $1,000+ monthly rent is grossly more expensive than the $320 she paid for her place in Akron.
Given her short time in DC and economic situation right now she says that she hasn’t gotten out much and has yet to meet a lot of new friends. Thankfully she loves her coworkers at the bank. “They’re great!”
She hopes to find a job in international development and possibly work with Africa. At some point she says she hopes to return to Ghana. “My dream is to run a HIV/AIDS awareness organization back in Ghana.” I know that many readers of the Year of Giving are involved in that area of work and I hope they might be able to help Catherine. Drop me a note and I will connect you with Catherine.
As someone who works with money all day long, I was quite interested to know what she was going to do with the $10 I gave her. “I’m going to put it toward gas,” she says. It sounds like she could definitely use a little extra money too; she estimates that she has racked up more than $450 in parking and speeding tickets since moving here earlier this year. Hmmm. I might suggest the Metro as an alternative to get her to and from work!