The dirtiest word in my line of work: International Accounting. International accounting was breezed over in graduate school and barely studied for when taking the CPA exam. I convinced myself I would never live a life that required detailed knowledge of exchange changes, man was God laughing at me. One of my biggest struggles with the operations of HoHG is the exchange rate. The US Dollar to Haitian Gourde exchange rate changes daily, varies by city and often from one store to the next. The banks charge one rate but Western Union another. It is truly mind boggling.
According to google, todays exchange rate is $1US = 63.81 Gourde, yesterday in Port Au Prince we were given $1US = 58 Gourde. Three months ago it was $1US = 98 Gourde, the rate back then was a dream, take US, add two zero’s call it good. The rate back then stretched far, it allowed us to feed 150 children two meals a day for around $375 per week. I daydream about that rate. The rate in Pignon, where weekly food supplies are purchased, has been resting at 62 the last two weeks. The last two weeks we have had to up our weekly meals budget to $630 per week, the rate falls but prices in shops don’t.
This rate problem is not only a HoHG problem, it is a problem for all missions working in Haiti and for all Haitians. Missions are trying to figure out how to make their donations cover their budget. Many of those Employed are paid a fixed salary which barely covered their cost of living before, now that the gourde is worth so much less these salaries are failing to meet daily needs. There is talk and conspiracy about why the rate has dropped so much so quickly. There are projections as to when the rate will go back up. But the truth is no one knows the when or the why. But God does. God knows and he will provide. Right now we are able to cover our budget and have placed our trust and faith in God. Today I ask for your prayers over the dropping Gourde and our budget. We will continue to do the work we know we have been called to and know that HE will provide. All my love, Kim