Friday, February 29, 2008

Monetary Adventures

The recent civil disruptions that followed the Kenyan elections hit me personally, for one of the very best students I've had returned to Kenya when she completed her degree here. As I heard about the disruptions, even killings, my heart jumped every time. It was very good to hear then from my former student that she was fine. But the reason she wrote us was to say that the problems in Kenya have led to disruption in education, and girls are being denied education now if they can't pay for it. She said it would be helpful to get the equivalent of 20,000 Kenyan shillings to pay for one semester's tuition to a girl. She thought this was about $250, but with the devaluation of the dollar, it turned out to be $284. My colleagues donated $330 and I added up to $400 and after 45 minutes, first on the Internet and then by phone to Western Union, I sent off the money to Kenya. Now I'll be waiting anxiously for the news that it has been received.

It is an amazing world we live in -- first that I would have a former student in Kenya, secondly that we can exchange communication via e-mail, and third that with my plastic card I can make money start its way to Kenya. Watch here for more news about what is to be done with the money.