Friday, April 15, 2011

Tuesday April 12, 2011

Tuesday: morning emails flying back and forth to DHL. Lillian accompanied me or shall I say I clung to Lillian as we boarded the public minivans on our way to the center of Kampala proper to find the DHL office. They had informed us that we would have to pay $100 customs fee. The minivan was packed and each person leaving climbs over you and you move in further. Look ing back, not so terrible. However we had to walk uphill both ways to find the DHL building. It was not easy to find so we had to ask seveal people. I learned that you don’t just ask for directions. You must stop, Say, “Good Afternoon” How are you, and THEN ask for directions. The Ugandans are very polite, but I am told that sometimes a greetin g could last ½ hour! So we did this a few times and finally found the building. We were meeting Daniel from Kampala university because we had to change the receiver ship to his name and he needed to bring documentation. So what does documentation mean to you- identification, right? Nooooo.

It meant he needed an official letter from the college. OMG! Luckily I had brought my laptop and Daniel had a flash drive. He plugged in, wrote the letter, and then we could not email. But DHL was kind enough to allow Daniel to insert his flash drive into their computer to transfer the letter. OK done? Nooo now they wanted a letter from Larry saying that he was no longer the receiver. As nicely as I could, under the circumstances,, I said that Larry had previously written an email to that effect. OK, done? Can we have the computers? Noooo, they are still at Customs! She copied by $100 bill both sides, faxed it to DHL at Customs (Entebbe airport and politely told us they were following the rules and that they would try to get the computers today, no guarantees, they would let us know!!! Sooo, we thanked everyone- they were very nice, parted with Danile and took the minivan back to the guest house. A whole morning for very little and $100 lighter!

Visit to the Commission of Education. Had an appointment with Joyce but when we got there, she had not returned from a meeting. So we explained the project to the Inspector, then he recommended that we speak to the Director but we had to wait – he was speaking to someone else so we waited out a rain storm in another office, finally spoke to the Director and explained the project once again. He had seen the computers before. He suggested we speak to Joyce, our intended visit. We said she was out at a meeting. Oh no, he said, we arrived from the meeting together. She is back. So all the time we waited, we could have been speaking with Joyce the Commissioner. We again explained the project. She indicated that the curriculum is developed at Kyambogo College and it was under revision at the moment. However, she was gracious enough to give me a copy of the current curriculum (2 books) .One book was for the lower grades, based on themes and one for the older grades. We spoke about the project but she suggested we go into Central Kampala to visit the Ministry of Education where all things are decided. I was expected in Jinja on Wednesday and Thursday and I still did not have the other 10 computers which were locked in customs. So our only other option was to try to get to the Ministry on Friday morning because I had a meeting with Makerere University on Friday afternoon. I made a plan with Anita to leave at 11 a.m. Friday and take our chances that we would find someone at the Ministry. I have been trying to get that close for over a month and now I was running out of time. We went back to the guest house and checked the email to see if any progress was made on the 10 computers. More emails flew back and forth and FINALLY they were released (whatever that means) Belinda, diligent contact at DHL, said to show up in the back parking lot at DHL, ask for Judas to pick them up. We were getting closer. So we left and arrived at 7:30, asked quite a few people and found Judas. He said to wait outside for the truck to arrive, copied my passport, so we waited and waited and waited. Now I am getting nervous. After all, tomorrow we were leaving for Jinja. The truck DID come after 9 p.m. The computers were on it and we returned to the guest house satisfied. I am just glad we were not going to have to take a boda boda with the 20 computers, the projector and all the other paraphernalia and clothes HA. For $30, Larry would drive us.

No comments:

Post a Comment