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Ok, so I am writing in a moment of pure, unadulterated excitement. After pouring over Hope Ministries’ accounting system and books over the last couple weeks, I kept having trouble figuring out how to help Hope create a general ledger (where they can track all expenses and income) that was clear, complete and accounted for some of the oddities that are particular to their accounting system. For example, Hope has a dollar bank account and a kwacha (the Zambian currency) bank account, and it’s really hard to find a way to track both in one place without the system becoming too complicated to use. I was having the worst trouble trying to figure out how to keep all the information in one place as much as possible while still making the system clean and easy to use.

Well, about three minutes ago I finally had my long-awaited epiphany! I’ve figured out a general ledger system that will allow Hope to track its income, expenses and balances for cash, the dollar account AND the kwacha account all in one place with (from what I can tell) minimal confusion! Haha…Ba Mumbi, the marvelous office manager for Hope Ministries, thought I was crazy when I burst out into a huge smile and a small fit of giggles when I finally figured it out.

Haha…in other less nerdy news, it’s been a good but very long 24 hours. After a lovely dinner at Hope House that included caterpillars, a local delicacy, the children and staff of Hope said a sad goodbye to the North Park students who were scheduled to leave Ndola for Lusaka, where Hope’s poultry farm will be, around 6 this morning. We all packed into Hope’s faithful bus for the ride back to our host homes, and I began to doze on the way home until I noticed about 30 minutes into dropping off other students and staff that the bus had come to a stop. It turns out in the excitement of making the upcoming trip down to Lusaka and Livingstone the bus driver had forgotten to get gas! After a 30-45 minute delay, Charles and Margaret rescued us remaining passengers and got us home around 10PM.

This morning the North Park students staying with the Mulandos had a slow morning of breakfast, goodbyes, pictures and advice for Nkhongono (which included how to keep too many girls from pursuing his cute little self 🙂 ). I headed to the office after a quick goodbye to the students, but on my way, we saw the faithful Hope bus being pushed by its driver and conductor onto the side of the road. Not good when it’s 8AM and the bus was supposed to head to Lusaka by 7:30AM. While I worked on some accounting processes this morning (including continuing to hit my head against the wall on this general ledger business that I just solved!), the Hope staff scurried to fix the bus and the students finally set off around 1PM. It was nice to seem them once more before they left, and I’m hoping that they’ll enjoy their time in Lusaka and Livingstone!

So the rest of my day will be running this new general ledger system by Margaret, who oversees accounting at Hope, and working with Teachers Ng’oma and Silvia to implement the new student database! Wish me luck!

  • Nilwona | Jan 12, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Joann, we must be long lost sisters! Sometimes, reading about the things that excite you (and how you react) is like reading my thoughts, ha! And that bus…I don’t think there’s an NPU team that hasn’t had a story to tell about the bus. 😉

    Now that I’ve had my fix (reading the Zambia updates), I can go on with my day. 🙂

  • Spark Ventures | Jan 13, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Haha…nice! Glad you’re getting a kick out of the nerd factor! 🙂

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