Do you remember Thaddaeus whose company put in the borehole at St James? Well, when I told him I was hoping to come to Uganda he said he would like to meet me and yesterday he did. He and his boss David (over 7 feet tall, no kidding!) took the afternoon off from their office in central Kampala and collected Lily and I, Faith had to go to work.
I had arranged to go for lunch at a little restaurant that Judith whose apartment I am staying in, had just opened. I had promised to visit her and this seemed an ideal opportunity to combine it with meeting Thaddaeus. They turned up in a very comfortable Prado Land Cruiser certainly a lot comfier than the vehicles I normally travel in, but straight away I felt comfortable with them.
I had had many email ‘discussions’ with Thaddaeus when he was working on the water project at St James and he had called me a couple of times so I felt I knew him already.They both looked very familiar to me because of the photos they had emailed me.
It took a while to find Judith’s place as it was in among many other little businesses all competing for customers. She was thrilled to see us and showed us to what was definitely the best table where she served us with chilled drinks, even though there was no electric, and then set to and cooked a delicious meal of Tilapia and vegetables.
As the food is cooked to order you always have to wait for your meal which gave us the opportunity to talk. It was all very interesting and both Thaddaeus and David told me that they are really interested in what has happened at St James and have offered to help wherever they can in the future. We have given the company a lot of work firstly with the lightening conductors at the beginning of the year and then of course the borehole, and they gave a very good professional service, but also went the extra mile spending time with James and the children, and taking photos and putting video footage on YouTube of the installation which I hope you have viewed.
I asked for the bill and while waiting looked in my bag for money. David asked what I was looking for and when I said my purse he shook his head and told me he was paying! This may not sound strange to you in the UK but here in Uganda rarely are people so generous when dealing with a Mzungu, however well off they are! Our meal had been delicious and I’m hoping that the men might spread the work and get Judith more customers from the ‘richer’ parts of Kampala.
Lily and I were dropped off at Faiths workplace. She is Receptionist at the Ches Johnson Hotel not far from her home. It was interesting seeing where she works and meeting one of her bosses but I do wish she could find a better job more suited to her talents. At least she is gaining experience though her pay is ridiculously low even for Uganda – 200,000 Ugx a month which is £50 for 26 days work of long hours – under £2 a day!
I’ve enjoyed my short stay in Kampala and head off to Jinja tomorrow. Thaddaeus and David are taking the afternoon off work to take me! Its going to be the most comfortable ride I have ever had to Jinja.
See you there! Love Gerry x