What started as an awareness raising and ethnographic styled walk through Sierra Leone, this site now details the encounters of a not so academic academic who spends more time occupying Wall Street and squats than a university...

Friday, August 13, 2010


So as things are slowly coming together, so is the financial picture.  And it is not pretty.  I suppose as the nature of this venture is non-profit, open, and charitable, there are no secrets!!  So here is my current financial report, for Friday the 13th, August 2010!!

In July and August thus far I have spent $95 on car insurance, $40 on gas (yeah I don't leave the house - I can't afford it!!), $27 on my phone, $50 on food (in addition to food stamps), and $50 cash which has some gas in there and a $16 book for my mom.  Not like I'm living it up.  But car insurance and gas kill you (I hate cars by the way;), and I still have to cover those costs for two more months.  Unfortunately when I was planning my trip I was planning on leaving about now.  Thus I do not have the next couple months budgeted in - this will hurt.  Someone needs to hire people to just go around and help people!!  What a great job that would be, from old ladies crossing the street to charity walks in Africa!!  I'll take an application pleeeaaaaase!!

As for my budget for the trip itself, I am not far off on this.  I had been figuring $4000 total, $2000 to get there, $1000 while there, and $1000 to get ready.  My logic was that I would do it all on a shoe string as this is the way I live life anyway and don't have the means to do otherwise anyway!!  Where I seem to have come to a problem is the things that have been added, or the budgeted amount doesn't get you quality materials for this type of journey.

I am in a bit of a conundrum, three months living out of a backpack in West Africa will be tough, but it would certainly be easier if I were geared up properly.  Dilemma.  Its kind of like a business trip...  how in the world can someone justify spending $5000 on a business class flight?  Because when they arrive in the morning they can get up and go straight to a meeting and negotiate a multimillion dollar deal.  I still struggle to see the justification for that monetary outlay, but the point is a valid one.  You need to be functional, especially in unfamiliar territory.
Lets get started...
The key contributors to my shortfall are the backpack (added $250), the sleeping bag (doubled in cost to $300), vaccinations are expensive, and I also added a misc line of $100.  My in country costs are still the same and should sustain me there (even though rather meagerly - that is part of my goal).  Basically, my trip is now looking at costing $4600 plus living till I get on the plane.  Without the four mentioned above and the extra NY expenses I'm right on budget.  But I guess that doesn't really matter!!  ;)  They're there!!  I knew I wasn't being entirely prudent with budgeting, but I didn't have much more to budget with!!  This obviously doesn't make it easier now.  There was also of course talk of other donations and tax deductible options (as the Non-profit would be set up).  Those things are not coming to light just yet though.

...there are schools to build!!
Anyway, as of right now the projects assets include my own cash, the cookie jar, and ONE BRAND NEW DONATION!!!  ($60!!!  You know who you are!!!  Many thanks and much love... ;)  So right now there is a total of $4029.  The plane ticket and insurance have already been purchased, so cash assets are lower ($2467).   $1000 of this will go to Sierra Leone with me.  The problem is that gearing up now is looking at more like $2000 than $1000.  Some of this wiggle room was originally factored in with rounding up flight costs, but as it is my excel budget says from today through NY, the Gear, and the trip, I need another $900.  :-/

Love Diamonds anyone?!?
This of course can change.  I could save a little on the backpack and computer, 'misc.' is strictly a safety valve ($100).  But just as well, I don't have the Vibrams factored in there as a cost (PLEASE help me Vibram!!) and who knows about the final vaccination costs.  Bottom line is that I need more cash and/or help purchasing things.  :-/  If there is anything mentioned here, on my registry or my gear lists that could stand to see me go without, please let me know!!  Otherwise donations can easily be made below or on the right side of the page...

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