Category Archives: Adventures

Places we go and people we meet. We’re fans of adventure.

Barclays

Barclays, originally uploaded by Jason Archer.

As I’ve been learning how to travel Internationally, I take my cues from the experts. For instance, on my fall trip to Madrid, I was advised to move money over to my ATM account and withdraw it when I needed local cash. The machines provide a better conversion rate and it helps you not have to carry cash.
As I prepared for a month in Africa, I assumed the same would be true.

Assumed being the operative word.

When we arrived in Nairobi, our safari had been pre-paid. We had the funds in the bank in the US. All we needed to do was make a withdrawl. Simple. As I went to the Barclays ATM machine, I called my bank in the US to make sure they could watch my transaction. I had a rep on the phone and told her I needed to withdraw a sizeable amount. She kept me on the line as I withdrew $500 from the ATM. My second withdrawl did not go so well. The machine ate my card.

After calling Barclays customer service number, they said they would destroy my card. But, I could come in with my ID and passport to withdraw. I returned with Mike Reynen, Africa Area Director, to the bank. After nearly two hours of waiting, we were informed we couldn’t do the transaction. Needless to say, Barclays is not on my happy list.

With help from the Reynens, we figured out an alternate plan. We left Nairobi and the Reynens and went on our safari. Upon returning, we took them out for dinner to thank them for their hospitality and help. They presented us each with gifts: My gift was a custom Barclays “lack of customer service” card – made by Mike. A great reminder of three things:

1. When traveling in Africa, carry cash.
2. Never, under any circumstances, use Barclays for a bank.
3. Mike & Vickie Reynen are awesome.

Thanksgiving

Family Photo, originally uploaded by Jason Archer.

This thanksgiving was a bit of a departure for us. Rather than hang with the Durochers, we wound up traveling to Ohio and Pennsylvania to enjoy time with our families.

We stopped on Wednesday night to visit my dad and Phyllis and then traveled Thursday to PA to spend the day with my mom, sister, and their families. It was cramped but fun. We enjoyed swapping stories, catching up, watching old home movies, and playing Apples to Apples. Saturday we gathered at Duros with Brants and Dumonts for some thankful time before we headed back to work and school. All in all it was a great time with family and friends.  |  Flickr Photoset

Mecca

Mecca, originally uploaded by Jason Archer.

This fall I was in Seattle for meetings for work. While I was there, I was able to receive a day of mentoring by someone I trust deeply who flew up from California to invest in me. I also was able to spend a little window of time at the first Starbucks on Pike’s Street by the Pike’s Place Market. The Clover machine makes the absolutely most perfect cup of coffee.  I met a homeless man there named “6’7″.  I wrote about my experience with him on my personal/professional blog.  It was a great few days to connect with some of the sharpest leaders in the denomination as well as gain some valuable networking and mentoring with some incredible people. |  Flickr Photoset