Tuesday, July 14, 2009

June 30
We drove to Talara (approximately 80 km south) this morning to open a bank account and to meet Georg's wife Nathalie. After the holiday this was the first day the bank was open. It was also the end of the month when bills need to be paid. In Peru, you don't write check or have on-line bill pay, but you go to the bank and make your payments there. Inside there are two automated stations for paying bills and there were two lines extended across the bank's interior and a crowd at the door trying to get in. If you wanted to see a teller, you had to take a number and wait. In order to open an account, we also had to take a number to see a bank representative. The bank was incredibly busy!
It wasn't as easy to open an account as we had been led to believe. Because we are foreigners, Georg had to "recommend" us to the bank and vouch for us. Since we didn't have a physical address or phone number in Peru, Georg allowed us to use those of El Refugio. He basically ended up sponsoring us. At any rate, we now have a savings account with a debit card in Peru. We also have access to our account on line and not only do we have a PIN but we also have a digital code device whose number changes every minute. So when you log on, you not only enter your pin but also the number showing on the digital device at that time.
We then took Georg out to lunch before going to pick up Nathalie at the airport.
On our way back to El Refugio, we drove along the ocean front through Cabo Blanco where Ernest Hemingway wrote the Old Man and the Sea. We stopped once again at the property to show Nathalie what we were thinking. Negotiations continue and hopefully will be finalized in the morning.

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