Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Border Run Adventures...

So tomorrow it will have been another 30 days that I've been in Moz. And since every 30 days I have to be out of the country, Sharon (another missionary) and I took off at 6am (stupid o'clock if you ask me) for the border. All was well for the first hour of our trip. Then we decided to stop to pull some money out of the atm on the other side of the city before you're pretty much in the middle of nowhere for awhile. Sharon got her money just fine...but I put my debit card in and the machine said processing and I got nothing in return...
I turned to Sharon and said, "That machine ate my card!" I've heard of this many many times from other missionaries but prayed it wouldn't happen to me. Well we pushed cancel, clear, and anything else we could think of to rectify the situation. Nothing helped. Finally, we decided since it was 6:50 in the morning and obviously the bank was not open we would just head to the border and come back to deal with this. We did stick around to watch another man attempt to use that machine...I wanted to make sure that the next person wouldn't get my card back with their own or something strange like that...I mean this is Africa after all.
At the border our only adventure was the fact that we ended up on the wrong side of a rope barricade. I ended up taking it down, letting Sharon drive over it, and then putting it back up! When we got back to the back about 2 hours later the line filled the ENTIRE bank. I'm not exaggerating at all! So I stood in the back of the line for a few minutes and finally decided that if someone who worked their squeezed by me I would ask him if I even needed to be in this line. Well it turns out me and the rest of the world didn't have a debit card. The bank guy started handing out these packets of pages and pages of information you needed to fill out...but somehow me the white girl, who didn't speak great Portuguese didn't need one. He just took my passport and starting trying to look up my debit card information. Then he thumbed through a stack of debit cards higher than a deck of cards...RIDICULOUS! None of them were mine. Finally, I told him it was blue and said Wachovia on it...he said, "Oh!" and left for a few minutes. He came back with 2 blue debit cards...neither of them mine. Fail!
Next we were ushered into a little side room and someone who spoke English started asking me questions. After another time of waiting...the guy showed back up with nothing. The whole time I was thinking, here we go I'm going to have to figure out how to cancel my debit card from Moz and go through getting a new one...what a hassle. He said..."Could you just look in your wallet one more time and make sure you don't have?" Sharon and I both said..."I don't have it...the machine ate it". He insisted I look again. And...THERE WAS MY DEBIT CARD RIGHT WHERE IT ALWAYS IS. I still have no recollection of it coming out of the machine and putting it back into my wallet. I think that proves I'm exhausted and stressed. What a day?!

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