To Africa and Back
Yes! It would appear that after fighting banks and the inevitability of time changes, I have finally deposited funds for my week-long volunteer stint. It didn’t come without its challenges, though.
About 20 minutes after processing my transfer through Xoom, I received an unusual phone call from an 800 number. So I ignored it. They’d leave a voicemail if it was important, right?
They did. It was Xoom calling to talk to me about my transfer. Uh oh. This doesn’t sound good. At all.
The man I spoke with interrogated me about where I was sending my money and what it was for. It made me very uncomfortable – I began to think I had done something awful. Do they think I’m a con artist??
No. Nothing quite so exciting.
Apparently I had overlooked the important detail that they don’t deal with corporate transfers. Oops. But doesn’t corporate imply that it is for-profit? I wasn’t actually so quick-tongued on the phone. I was more like, uhhhhm what do you mean?
Fortunately I had mentioned that it was a volunteer program, and I think that made all the difference. The man was really helpful, and after finding out that I would only be doing this one transfer so as to pay my way in full, he offered to speak to a corporate employee to see if it was OK.
I’m not saying you should go and harass them to do this for you, but I want to put it out there how accommodating they were to me and my stupidity. I really appreciate it.
When he came back, he had to verify my identity by giving a former address. Well, I’ve lived in about 5 places in Georgia, so after two “incorrect” answers (not the one that he had access to,) he offered that I could name my former Ohio address.
Ahhh much easier since there’s only one of those!
He then asked me what I was doing specifically during the volunteer stint. Oh, you know. Erecting enclosures, caring for wildlife, hunting with cheetahs . . .
I could hear him gulp over the phone. I had to laugh a little. It made me even more excited to hear someone else’s reaction to the trip.
Either way, he wished me good luck and safe travels, and verified that they would process my request this one time.
. . . But not before being put on hold for 15 minutes of Bob Marley’s Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.
And you know what? Mr. Marley was right.