It’s been a little over a week since my last post, hope family and friends in the States had a happy 4th! We have had a pretty calm week, still building cages, working on crops – the sunflowers are about ready to cut down, much to my dismay! But since the rains have still been coming pretty steady throughout the week I think we are going to go ahead and plant more. They grow so fast!
I was not feeling well last weekend so Christian and Raelee did the cooking for two days. She loves to cook, he not so much so I was very appreciative that he did it with her! Chicken strips and french fries – so good! (Even better when I don’t have to cook them!)
We have been having a “situation” with the parking ticket lady. Whenever you go to town, you have to pay for parking. This does not apply to the bank parking lot or the supermarket we go to that has their own parking lot. But, if you park anywhere else on the street you can expect to pay. It’s not much but, if you park on one side of the street, run in somewhere and then park across the street you will get to pay both times! In Jinja we buy a handful of little tickets at a time and give those out. I think much of the money gets pocketed because the ticket takers are all the time begging us to buy a handful more! So, we have in the past bought a monthly parking sticker for 30,000 shillings a month. (Parking one time is 3-4,000 shillings). But since March we have not bought parking stickers because 1) the truck hardly goes to town since we got the car and 2) since buying the car we hadn’t gone to town except to the bank. Then in May our car was wrecked. So why pay 60,000/mo for two vehicles that aren’t even going to town? Make sense to you? The parking sticker lady has called Christian about every other day for over a month now “demanding” we pay her for the missed months and get caught up. She put her supervisor on the phone the other day because they don’t think we are understanding what they are telling us! We understand. We understand that buying a monthly sticker is voluntary, we are under no obligation to buy one every month. We understand that now whoever gets the previously “owed” money will pocket it. So we were at the bank on Wednesday and the supervisor (do they have spies watching the bank?) came to the truck demanding the money we “owe”. Christian explained we are not paying money for something we haven’t used. We have not had the car for over a month, and the truck has only come to town three times in the past month. To the bank and the supermarket – no pay places. When someone here is not happy with what you are saying they either say “So what do we do now?” The supervisor kept saying “So, what is your decision?” This went on for ten minutes, he wasn’t happy with our decision and I guess thought he would change it if he just persisted. He even went so far as to say that because his people know we have a sticker each month that will confuse them and they won’t get money from us. THEY CAN’T ANYWAY…WE.HAVE.NOT.COME.TO.TOWN in three months! Chris stayed involved in the conversation a lot longer than I did! He asked the guy “If you weren’t using the sticker would you pay almost 200,000?” Finally, we told him that when the car is fixed we are going to get our monthly sticker again (even though we won’t need it) but we aren’t doing that for the truck since it will barely leave the property.) Appeased and I guess finally resigned to the fact we weren’t going to give him any money he finally left. We were waiting to meet someone at the bank, and no sooner had the supervisor left than the woman came to the door! Christian cut her off saying the supervisor had just left and we had talked to him about it but she still tried to go through the whole situation again. We told her we had to go and couldn’t sit and talk to her about it. When we get our car back we will pay for a sticker. It may not seem like a lot of money, but who would pay for something you aren’t going to use? And especially knowing that the “back payment” is only going in someone’s pocket? I have to say though, the lady has been pretty persistent in trying to threaten us!
We are in Kampala getting some supplies and to finally sign insurance papers for the car. We got a quote from a shop other than Toyota (they wanted almost as much as we paid for the car to fix two doors!) and it is a little scary handing our car over to a garage here. We are praying the doors open and close and are the same color as the rest of the car. (You laugh but one or the other is so likely to happen!) We are praying that it is all fixed and ready to go before our mission team comes the first week of August. We are cutting it close! (They don’t have rental car companies here – actually they do have cars for “hire” but you may as well buy a car rather than pay that cost!)
Hope you have had a good week and happy holiday!