A while ago, i posted this blog about my experience with an ISP here in Kampala, and rightly so, i was on the receiving end of a phone call from a “boss” who intimated that the persons who had placed their very lives on the line, to help this frustrated customer, had their jobs “threatened”, and the only thing i needed to do was to save their jobs by taking down the article. I agreed to, because a personal friend used his personal relationships to get me to the help i got, and I valued that. But that did not take away my earlier problem, nor my quest for a solution.
The very insinuation that my blog, notwithstanding its colours, is a forum used to attack the ISP, was at the very least ignorant, and the repeated questioning of my “intentions” and whether i had achieved “what you intended to get” is at the very best, an insult.
I’m convinced, i now know how this nicely well oiled machine called Orange works. And if you think its theft, and arm twisting, i beg to differ. Its more like the shrewdness Jesus feared from Matthew the tax collector.
30th Oct, i loaded credit worth 25k, on my data sim, did not activate a bundle, went on line duly and from 3pm, to 9am the following day (not continuous usage), it was all wiped! 2 Weeks of exchanges between me and customer care yield a number of failed explanations and 2 interesting documents. The first, comes in 3 days after my credit disappears – a time stamped record of all urls accessed from 3pm on 30th, to 9am on 31st October. Total amount of data used: 0.0298 MB.
When you do not activate a data bundle, the system defaults to charging you as a mobile data user – See Cost Here – 0.9 UGX per KB. So you can understand why i had a hard time understanding that 0.0298 MB multiplied by 0.9 UGX per KB would result in 25000 UGX.
Some of the sights, from the Hope Ward Fun Run 2012.
So this morning i went over to Lohana Academy to try and get Gabriella into school for next year. It lasted 3 minutes, and the admission letter will be ready on Friday! Nothing like sign here, sign there, village, et al.
Co-incidentally, the conversation at work over lunch was about a frustration of the fees in schools, which have to be supplemented by those weekend classes, or else your child “will find it hard in the exams.” This colleagues goes on to say how this is the new way for teachers “to survive.” I think its the ONLY way, for over 10 years ago, i went through the same. I hated it, because i was sure of my grades, and i thought it was unnecessary for my mom to squeeze our meager resources further.
When I was younger, it never quite registered in my head that I had lost my dad. My problems were simpler, a big brother bully, a kid brother envy, I must admit, I was as lost as most middle children.
In high school, it started to hit me – what if my father had been alive. Would I go the same schools? Would we live in the neighborhoods we did? My earlier problems had not gone away – they never do when you are 3, all boys! But now I had fresher problems, girls, among others.
My mother used to share the story, of how she defied her brothers, to raise her children in Kivulu, which for as long as I can remember, retains this slum aura about it. And that was the story of our wanderings. Funny then to find that when we needed to leave BatValley to go visit mum at work in Makerere, and as kids, the only safe place to pass was…Kivulu!
In Makerere she worked hard and long, toiled for as long as I can remember, going from the Main Printery, Medical School to that almost damned Main Library basement called the Bindery. When I look back, she must have worked in and around Makerere since I was in P5, just shy of 2 decades.
My father? Long gone. My memories of him are simple, Bata and Hotel Equatoria. Ofcourse how could I forget my brothers – they are stark ever-present reminders of his presence. When I look at either, I have to wonder, who was closest to him, in demeanor, character, and even in looks. Ok, about looks, neither, I beat them – and that’s hands down. But seriously, my brothers are the most important anything my father ever left. We’ve fought, shouted, deserted, and came right back. We cook, clean and can shop un-aided. We dig, farm and work our hands off. We never give up, certainly not on eachother, we never have and we never will. Yes, Period!
This is mostly because of our mother, my mother! She was unique, inspirational, a hard worker and a talented problem solver. If you think I like white for sakes, ask her, she dared me to prove I was cleaner, while in boarding school. Have never looked back, I never will.
You see for close to 20 years, my mom reared chicken, visited Texas, made paper bags, suffered a broken leg, twice, gained 2 daughters-in-law, collected news papers, lost a father, gained 3 granddaughters, farmed in Masaka, slept in a military cell, raised 3 boys and graduated 2 of them, served in Local Council, picked fish from Kalangala, held down a job, even led a department!
She gave everything she had for the sake of us all, yes, outlaws, sisters, brothers, our cousins, you name it all – her hands were ever wide open. Now, almost 20 months in the grave, she still gives… this week Chris and I received a gift from our mother, made possible by our Father!
…now if you think this was about my mother, and father, its because you don’t know that I have a Father in Heaven!
So I hope you had a great day today. I also had a bad day, after learning that all my insurance policies are going to incur an extra 0.5% for the flimsy excuse that the Insurance Regulatory Authority needs money to carry out training for the masses. This is the verbatim, released September 10th 2012:
The Insurance Amendment Act 2011 provides for an Insurance Training Levy (ITL) that shall be imposed on the Gross Direct Premium charged for all policies issued by Insurance companies. In consultation with the Minister of Finance, the rate of the Levy has been set at 0.5%.
The levy, which is effective 1st October 2012, shall be charged on all new policies issued, renewals and endorsements, for as long as these attract an additional premium.