Ugandan Endeavor: Day 7 (Sat) – Hopes Dashed

Much anticipation for the day. The car came bright and early, but of course there were delays. So, eventually we left to go to Soronko, but for some reason we went to Mbale and then we got out of the car and switched to another one. So, we were supposed to meet the owner of a great location at 9am, but we arrived around 11am (decent for African time). Once we walked in, I expected negations to go smoothly because the man working with us had already talked to the owner about a price for the room. However, once we walked in and asked about the price, he told us a number twice as expensive. That was completely absurd. I mean the difference isn’t a whole lot of money, US, but it’s a lot of money in Ugandan terms. We negotiated for a while and said that we would make arrangements to finalize the deal on Monday.

I arrived back in town to look at the place we were putting an offer in on, and decided that it really wasn’t worth it because he wouldn’t fix the windows or paint the room – something that costs 2-3 months rent (rent is quite cheap in general). So, we made the decision to go back with the original place that was supposed to be done that day. We talked to the workers and they said maybe it would be done by the end of the next week. That’s just frustrating because that is when I leave.

Overall, the day was very frustrating. I should have known that I shouldn’t have gone to be part of the negotiations. Of course, mezungo (white man) automatically means 2-3 times higher prices.

I pressed one of our representatives to quickly get the rest of the arrangements finalized for the other aspects of the café, but alas nothing was able to get done and of course there isn’t much that can be done on Sunday.

Mostly, I wished very much that I hadn’t gone to the negotiations. I knew that it would affect things, but I guess I was just living in this ideal world were people treated other equally. I was hoping for honesty, etc. But the owner kept insisting that the current tenants pay the same price he wanted to sell it to us for; I don’t like it when people lie to me (and I know it). So now, things are looking bleak and I still don’t have the computers setup. One thing that I need is internet access to download some files, but with the fastest connection speed in the area being 1KB/s (yes, around one, maybe two KB/s) there is no way I can actually download anything in the internet cafes. I come from a whole different world; I didn’t realize it would be so much different (I’d prefer a reliable modem connection over these “broadband” connections).

Published by

jason exposed

Jason Lund

Leave a Reply