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#3082: Fonkoze: My own personal banker in Haiti

>From Bob Corbett

 I've never been treated as 'special' by a bank.  I don't deal in money 
 much; no savings accounts, just a checking account, normally with a 
 rather low balance.  But recently I chanced to deal with Fonkoze in Haiti 
 and had a simply marvelous experience in which I really felt for the 
 first time in my long life, that I was a special customer in the hands of 
 caring and competent people.
 Back in 1983 I recall the first time I discovered the black market in 
 goud.  If one changed money in a bank the rate was fixed at 5 goud to the 
 American dollar.  But someone told me about the street market and I was 
 excited to get a whole 6 goud to the dollar there.  As time went on 
 that amount crept up, but until relatively recent times it didn't get much 
 above 10 to 1.  However, when it began to soar and banks even started 
 changing at a price not too much different than the street, I began to 
 pay attention.
 Then it leveled off at about 15 to 1.  Seemed to stay there for a couple 
 of years.  I was traveling often to Haiti and always needed goud while 
 there.  I kept thinking stability was just around the corner (despite 
 some of my stances I'm really an optimist at heart), and that with 
 stability the goud would stabilize against the dollar and fall back to 
 lower rates.  (Obviously economics has never been my strong point.) 
 At that time I opened an account in goud at a downtown bank.  The name of 
 the bank, no longer in existence, isn't important.  I took all I could 
 afford, for me a substantial sum, for most people, not that much money.  
 I converted it into goud and had my "safety" account.
 Well, of course, this was a very very bad idea economically.  The goud 
 continued to rise and the value of my goud in the bank in relation to 
 what I paid for them, was falling in value nearly daily.  Finally I 
 decided to bite the bullet of defeat and get my goud out of there and 
 back into dollars.  I figured I'd do better re-changing it as I actually 
 needed it.  The goud doesn't seem about to fall soon.
 Now, here's the rub and where Fonkoze comes in.  How was I, living in St. 
 Louis, and not planning to go back to Haiti for a while, going to get my 
 goud out of the bank, changed into dollars and put into my checking 
 account here in St. Louis?  Not an easy problem.
 I wrote to one of our list members and he referred me to Fonkoze.  I 
 wrote them and they responded with kindness and helpfulness.  They would 
 see what could be done.
 It wasn't all that easy.  My old bank, now with a new name, wanted me to 
 go to New York to certify before some government body that I am me.  New 
 York's 1000 miles from St. Louis, money and time I simply couldn't 
 afford.  My goud were hardly worth it!  But in an experience, some might 
 use the word "ordeal," my personal representative from Fonkoze took this 
 project in hand.   It was not a short process and actually from beginning 
 to end took more than 3 months, but recently I got a dollar check in the 
 mail, converted at the going rate of dollar to goud and deposited that in 
 my local account.  Some loss from when I did the original conversion way 
 back when, but that I expected.
 Now I'll do better when I go to Haiti to just buy goud at the going rate.
 Obviously I'm very bad with money.  Nonetheless, it is extremely hopeful 
 to me to know there is a bank which I can contact from St. Louis with 
 representatives willing to deal with me by e-mail and in English to 
 resolve my banking needs.  If any of you have banking needs for Haiti, I 
 highly recommend you contact Fonkoze, Corbett's personal bankers!!!!!
 Bob Corbett 

If you are in the U.S., you can contact:
Dominique Claude
Fonkoze's U.S. Customer Service Representative
email: fundnotice@aol.com

Or, you can reach Anne Hastings, Fonkoze's Director, at fonkoze@aol.com