Cale’s pule was also in contact with the Deputy Prime Ministers office over having the cost of shipping taken care of and at the end of May Brian emailed me to say that the Pacific Forum Line in Auckland had been contacted by the Samoan government. At the end of June Brian contacted me to say the computers were all ready to be shipped, but there was some difficulty on the PFL end over how payment for the shipping was going to be handled. This is when I learned that PFL was giving us a 50% discount on the shipping and was waiting for the remaining 50% from the government. PFL was contacted and they agreed to send the shipment with payment on delivery. I was informed of this agreement after the fact and sent a letter to the Auckland manager of PFL thanking him and requesting an invoice to take to the Deputy Prime Minister’s office to complete the payment.
On July 4, the Auckland Manager sent a reply that included the name of the ship the computers were being sent on. However, it did not occur to me until later that that meant the computers were already on their way. On Friday, July 10, I looked up the schedule of that ship on the internet and discovered it was going to be in port in Apia the following Thursday, the day Cale and I were scheduled to leave for FaoFao on vacation. Also, the arrival was less than a week away and we still did not have an invoice to give the Deputy Prime Minister’s office to get the remainder of the shipping covered.
On Monday, July 13, I contacted the local offices of PFL for an invoice. Apparently there was some issue at their end. The shipment had been charged to their office by the Auckland office and they did not want to be responsible for the bill. They asked me for a signator to guarantee the shipment. I explained that this was a group of 10 different schools and there was no one person who could guarantee the cost of the shipping. I learned during the conversation that when the computers arrived in port, we would have three days to pay for them before they would be bonded and sold to cover the remainder of the shipping. I asked for an invoice to get to the DPM's office ASAP, which we received on Wednesday. Thankfully, I learned that the boat had been delayed and the computers were not arriving the next day, but Saturday and would not be offloaded until Monday. This gave us until Wednesday to sort out the payment.
Cale and I left the invoice for just over $2,000 tala in the hands of his principal and we went to FaoFao. Since the principal had been speaking to the DPM’s office before, he was going to contact them again to hand over the invoice. Unfortunately, he was unable to get an appointment with the DPM Thursday or Friday. He learned from the DPM’s driver that the DPM was scheduled to leave the country Tuesday morning. If we were going to catch him, Monday night was it and we didn’t catch him Monday night.
Will Cale and Sara get in contact with the Deputy Prime Minister? Will the computer shipment be paid for? Will the computers be bonded and sold to cover the shipping costs? Tune in tomorrow for the next installment of The Tale of the Computer Donation.