Ugandan Endeavor: Day 3 – Difficulties of Africa

I am pleased to say that I did have breakfast this morning. I paid the attendant the night before and my food arrived before the time I requested; I was quite surprised. A simple breakfast – fried egg (couldn’t find a yolk), 2 pieces of bread, 2 bananas, and some tea. I discovered a mosquito bite today (it may have been there yesterday). It itches a little, but there is a decent sized bug bite lump on my leg. I’m not sure if I should be concerned, but I do know I will continue to take my malaria medicine and today I’ll begin to use the bug spray I brought.

I spent the morning purchasing equipment for the internet café. Wow, the prices for things here are twice as expensive as in the US. And then on top of that, they don’t have the latest things. It was a bit frustrating to spend so much on so little – so I’ll have to re-evaluate the options. After making the purchases I booked a ride from Kampala to Mbale – over a 4 hour ride; that was expensive. However, I am quite astounded at the ability of regular cars to overcome very bad road conditions – things that we wouldn’t even consider roads by American standards.

After arriving at the orphanage, I can see there are a lot of problems facing this endeavor. Discipline seems to be severely lacking in Africa and this orphanage and its management is no exception. Apparently, the orphanage has accepted more kids than it can support – many kids do not have a place to sleep and sometimes there isn’t enough food to feed them. Because of the excess number of kids, there is no money for improvement of the orphanage so that it can properly support additional kids. There also seems to be quite a bit of politics and gossip that is pervasive amount the staff and kids.

A pastor stole a bunch of money that was given to him to purchase food and supplies for the children. Nobody here can be trusted; I’ve been told this over and over again. Additionally, things never happen on time. I have yet to have any appointment be less than 1 hour late. This is apparently normal in Africa, but this will not work in business. There are so many needs, but the discipline, work ethic, and quality work do not exist. I don’t like to sound pessimistic, but these and other issues prevent Ugandans from prospering their country. It is a sad sight to see.

Tomorrow, I will spend the day investigate Mbale to determine the feasibility of an internet café there. However, I am highly concerned about attempting to start a business and leaving it. I do not believe that I would be able to find two disciplined people who will work hard with integrity to leave the café to. Because of this, I may need to consider other options.

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Jason Lund

One thought on “Ugandan Endeavor: Day 3 – Difficulties of Africa”

  1. Your breakfast wasn’t simple! You got a perfect egg sandwich and some fruit to complete your meal! As for the mosquito bites make sure to wipe them off immediately with rubbing alcohol. It stops the iching and lessens the inflammation from the bite.

    Don’t forget that no price is final! Make sure to get a good deal…How many Americans do you think they see in Uganda? And while you are there make sure to open your eyes to new opportunities. Is the internet cafe the best way to give the necessary help? I know you were eager to get out there and bring such great ideas to a beautiful country but you can’t be naive and ignore the culture that exists. Don’t let this stop you though because success will come once you’ve built strength through your struggle. I have made some phone calls and am waiting to hear back about how you can fix the problem of finding someone to run an honest business. Chin up blondie, trust Him to lead the way.

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