This Scavenger Hunt is Open to anybody from any country, to win you must post a YouTube.com video of where you found it you in the the video. 100 USD about 150 Cedis GH.
Do you have a friend in Ghana, or soon on the way to Ghana, I am going to hide a personal item that will be labeled "HoboTraveler.com Scavenger Hunt." in my Hotel The person who finds this will win 100 U.S. Dollars, here is the Hobo Scavenger Hunt information.
Ho, Ghana West Africa --- Monday, February 7, 2011
I have this cool USB Wireless Modem, well not so cool, this one refuses to allow me to FTP or click on tracking links. However, it is still cool knowing that I can live in about any location in a country and have Internet Access inside my room. I will save hundreds of dollars and incredible amounts of time with this device, there is no need to rent rooms with WIFI, and I can get the cheaper family room hotel rooms around.
Problem in Paradise, I do need FTP, so maybe the Vodafone Wireless Modem is better in Ghana, I am not sure, and it is difficult to test these types of fun toys.
The Problem with MTN Wireless Modem
MTN is the name of the cell phone company here in Ghana, a very large one in Africa. MTN cell phone service gave me 2.5 Gigs of transfer when I purchased the thing for 60 Cedis. This 2.5 Gigs was running out, and I heard that I got surplus time if I purchased a 10 Cedi recharge card. I purchased the card, and unfortunately, on Saturday night my load suddenly ran out while talking to Johnny the Pilot on Skype.com. He is presently in Dubai, after needing to leave Cairo, Egypt quickly because of riots.
Sorry Johnny, I was not able to tell you what happened.
I am clever, ok, I take the load recharge my credit card out, do the scratch off to find the number thing. I then go to the page above, and try to load the time, it just does not work. Then trying to be clever, I took the SIM out of the wireless modem, put in my cell phone thinking maybe I can load time on the SIM this way. The SIM gives me notice,
Activation is part of the cell phone SIM business, in Ghana, you have go to an office, show some identification and then activate the SIM for a prepaid cell phone. I am not sure, maybe the every so, never-helpful-worker MTN worker in Korforidua did not activate the card, but for some reason the Internet access functioned.
One of the MTN offices is up the hill from my Hotel, so on Sunday; I walked over, hoping by some odd chance in this highly Christian country of Ghana, it would be open. It was not, so I searched around the for the standard office hours sign, in typical there-is-a-reason-we-are-poor business practice, there is no sign for office hours.
I do not mind them not being open, but it would be nice to know what time they are open on Monday morning, so I am not inconvenienced. Now, I must wait until about 10:30 am before I walk up the hill, and cannot be the first one in the door.
Always baffling how even the largest of the largest international businesses stop doing all the small standard business operating procedures when in poorer countries. There is only one thing between poverty and wealth here in Ghana, all they have to do is apply normal standard global business procedures, that cost nothing and they become the best of the best in Ghana.
Example: I purchased Fried Rice and a piece of chicken yesterday for 2.5 Cedi, when the plate of food arrived; I gave the boy 5 Cedis. I wanted to expedite his search for change, give him a few more minutes to find the correct change to give back. I did not think much about it, then I was about finished, and I thought, the boy has not returned my change.
I was finished, I stood up, and looked in the back door, and he was in their making three large plates of Fried Rice.
I knocked on the door, I am frustrated, why?
1. Why do I need to chase him down for my change?
2. Why do they not have change?
3. Why did he not finish what he started with the change?
To not return the MONEY is great way to make regular clients very angry. I am a regular, but I must watch them with both eyes on the front and back of my head. Yesterday, another situation I gave the woman 10 Cedis, and instead of leaving on the top of the money drawer, she put inside. Then she answers the telephone, talks while I am waiting, I want to slap the business owners side the head, and say,
"Finish what you start, so you do not forget what you are doing."
MTN Load Time Refill
I feel guilty complaining about MTN, because my company "HoboTraveler.com" has the same type of crap. I want MTN to test and retest their Control Panel, then give instructions on how to use the devices.
They need testers with the same skill sets as me to check, asking the questions, is the thing self-explanatory. To have a client return to the store, asking many questions is bad business, bad public relations, it is failure when people ask questions, it cost money to supply support and in turn makes me want to change or test if Vodafone is good.
Self-Evaluation of Business Practices
My guilt is this, we start area of the site, and for sure, they are awkward, my tech cannot see it, but he is a tech, which is part of their brain makeup. He cannot see because he knows 100 percent how it works, this is a self-evaluation problem.
Hobo Profiles, we have about five people per day sign up for a Hobo Profile, our own social network, my profile name is Gadget.
This is a lot of fun, and we hope a great way to meet other travelers, once you get a username and password, you can:
1. Comment on Photos
2. Search for other Hobos or people in the network.
3. Edit Pages and Help Travelers
4. Send Private Messages to other Hobos
5. Write Travel Articles
6 Read Deleted Comments on Blog
7. Vote to Choose Country to send Andy
I sent off another list today of "self-evaluation of pages" changes to make, I evaluate the system and send Boy Genius a to-do list of changes to make.
Well, presently MTN is doing 100 times better at this self-evaluation process, and how can I complain, when I have the same problem, but earn a speck of money compared to MNT>
I hope the USB Wireless Modem World starts to have standard practices on how to use, so I do not have to study this for every country I enter.
Well, one day we will self-evaluate our pages better, make the changes and updates faster and become too much fun, we are improving, a business needs progress or they are in a recession.
What does Internet Access have to so with Travel?
If you need to make a business call, if you needed to call the airlines, if you needed to call your wife ever in your life, this is why.
Travel is moving around and doing all the normal things of life while moving, it is a mobile way of normal living. There is no way to stop being a normal person just because you are traveling.
The Wireless Modem is allowing a person to always have a cheap way to make 2 cents per minute calls to the USA, England or Australia right in room 24 hours per day. If you have went down to the desk in a Five Star Hotel and paid the phone charges with your "own money" not the companies, you know what I mean, 2 cents a minute is nice with Skype.com.
The world is getting smaller, I can talk, communicate and move around the planet easy enough, one day I will be talking with all my friends and they will not know I am in Ghana, because the communications is so simple and easy, we just accept that we can always talk and see friends using the Internet or a Smartphone.
I published this using the Verizon Global Data plan, I have made it the last use backup system, I will only be using the BlackBerry Bold with Verizon Data when the USB Wireless Modems are not working or available.
There are some problems in Paradise, and I am still trying to get clarification. However, the unlimited plan has a caveat now, you must use 50 percent in country, I think it means inside the USA. The problem is this, how do you give your daughter a Smartphone and allow her to travel in Europe for six months? How can she study overseas for a year, and stay in touch using the Verizon Smartphone your, her Father is paying for?
I use Tether.com to tether the BlackBerry to my computer, this may also be ruled out as a method of using the service, although I do not believe they can detect it in use.
I do not understand Bums, why do they fall asleep in the busy business locations of cities, you can often find them sleeping in the places with the most tourist. Is it because they are begging, then just decided to take a nap? This is about 9:00 am in Ho, Ghana, right in front of the bus station and the central market of Ho, Ghana West Africa.
I am a Hobo, a Hobo is looking for work, a Bum is a person who will not work, and a Tramp is person who travels but will not work.
Video asking the culture of bums question,
"Why do bums fall asleep in the busiest areas of a city?"
Having Fun - Win 100 USD in Scavenger Hunt in Ghana
I understand your pain when it comes to applying standard business practices to companies in the developing world. I faced those issues when I lived in Ghana for a year. The answer I most often heard? "T-I-G - This is Ghana" or T-I-A -- This is Africa." But customer service isn't a first world concern. It should be the concern of all businesses, regardless of where they are.
I am now living in Guatemala. When I can, I vote on customer service with my wallet. I avoid any business that doesn't put the customer first. Wait 30 minutes to get a drink in a bar? See ya. Sit there and stare into the deep blue sky as I wait for the waitress to stop talking to her boyfriend? Gone.
So many businesses -- bars, especially -- could easily double their income if only their staff would take the initiative and ask customers if they'd like another drink. As a bonus, staff would make more in tips. (T-I-G - This is Guatemala!)
As for the internet sticks -- they're a godsend. For $35 a month I get 8 gigs of transfer anywhere in Guatemala. Works like a charm... almost as fast as "regular" high speed.
And lastly: The bum issue. I've come to the conclusion that many of the people who we see as "bums" are actually people with severe addiction problems or mental health issues. Or both.
Back "home" in Vancouver, there are lots of people like this. Most of them are broken. Many of them need professional help, but for a variety of reasons, never get it. Sad, but true. The best thing you can do is ignore them or give them food. The worst thing you can do is give them money.
I think that they sleep in these areas is that someone will give them money-food. I have given food to a sleeping person so when they wake up they have something to eat.It´s like working when your not working, Maybe he read the 4 hour workweek.
I have the verizen broadband to go with unlimited for 40 usd per month, however, they have modified their plan after a certin amount of download they will decrease your internet speed.