Friday, May 28, 2010

Day 18 - We really do work hard, Housing for $110 USD per month, and Party at Whit's

So let me start this off by making an important statement. Lest you think that all we do is play here at Burro (as evidenced by my blog posts and pictures), we actually do work quite hard. The project that I am working on involves building out Burro's financial model. As exciting as it sounds, it wouldn't make for very interesting blog posts for me to talk about the cool excel formulas and tricks that I used during a given day. I can imagine it now. "Today was awesome. I got to use some conditional formatting and used some self-referencing if then statements. Man, it just blows me away how awesome excel is. I mean, everyday my African experience comes alive as I learn about how powerful excel is. What can be better than vlookups or autofiltering?" As you can see, the posts would be pretty boring. It is for that reason that I have chosen to blog about the more interesting things that happen. There are times when I get out of the office and spend a day in the field. During those days, you will hear me talk about work more often. I will try and share a little more about the work that I do in the office, but will not bore you with any excel details.

So let me give you a quick update on where we are at with the financial model. I have been plugging away to develop the framework for the financial model that I am creating. Essentially, I am building out a set of financial projections that will show what Burro is capable of over the next 3.5 years (until the end of 2013). I will say that it has been somewhat of a unique experience, because I haven't ever built a set of financial models that go to the level of granularity that Burro does. It has been interesting trying to build out a model that clearly captures what Burro is capable of. I am building out the model so that we can forecast how many users and resellers Burro will have. Also trying to build in the opening of additional Burro offices. From there, I am layering in how many Burro batteries the users will use, how many Burro devices they will purchase, etc... It has been a good experience. In the words of Professor Heaton relating to financial projections "the only thing that you get comfortable with is your level of discomfort."

This morning, Whit came and invited us to a party over at his place. He had been talking about this for a little while now, and finally decided that today was the day. After work, nearly all of us from the office headed over to Whit's new place. Whit used to live here at the office, but finally got a place of his own right before us BYU interns came over. (I think it was a good excuse for him). The place where he now lives is pretty nice, comparatively speaking. Lest any of you should have a desire to come and lived in this part of Ghana, here are a few pictures of what you can rent for about GHC 150 (about $110 USD) per month. Granted you may have to do some work inside the house and they generally require that you prepay your rent for three years. (This pictures were taken by Max, Whit's brother. The guy that you see in the pictures is Whit, the founder of Burro)

 Front Entrance

Living Room



Plantain Orchard out back



So know that the scene of the party has been set, here are a few more of the details of the party at Whit's place tonight. Max, Whit's brother, likes to cook and spent a better part of the afternoon making some food for the party. The highlight of the food (at least for me) was the slow cooked shredded pork. It was very tasty!!! Once everyone had some food, the dancing began. At first, it was just one guy, Nat. Nat is one of the drivers for Burro. His job is to go out on "routes" and exchange the fallen (used) batteries with fresh (new) batteries. I kid you not, he kept dancing for like 2 hours straight. Whenever there was a break in the music, he would shout "let the music flow!!!" By the end of the night, he was soaked in sweat. At the night went on, more and more of the other people starting dancing. It probably didn't hurt, however, that most of the people were drinking wine. So I would have to say that is one of the benefits of not drinking. You can sit back and watch how everyone else acts once the alcohol starts to take effect. 

Here are a few other pictures from the evening. Overall, it was fun, even though they did try to get me out on the dance floor several times. They finally succeeded at the very end of the party, but I was only out there for about a minute before they realized just how bad I was.... My wife can attest to the fact that I have two left feet when it comes to dancing!!!! The funniest comment of the night was when they were trying to get David out on the dance floor as well. (David is not a big dancer either). He was talking to Debi and made a comment that if Justin was able to get married without knowing how to dance, there is still hope for me!!!

Andrew, showing Nat how to get his groove on

Even Whit (on the right) was getting the groove on!!!


katie king said...

We all know you don't really work... ;) J/K I'm glad you got out on the dance floor, even if it was only for 1 minute.