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Then And Now.

Its time of the year where my car will start coughing and breaking down. Come to think of it, my car had always been coughing and breaking down. This time it's the aircon. Some of the parts were replaced not long ago and now, its the compressor. It's going to burn another big hole in my pocket.

Called the aircon guy yesterday and he appeared punctually today. Diagnosed the fault and true enough, it's the compressor dying. It was not producing the correct compression to make the air cold. I left him to work on my car while I continued finishing up my monthly returns. Three hour had past and I heard the car starting. It was done. went out to check the result it was back in action.

He started to changed back to his normal clothing (Usually they would wear an overall to work on cars), preparing to drive off. I was surprised. I asked him, “Don’t you want to get paid for the job and parts?” Sitting in his driver seat, looking up, smiling at me, he said, “Ah, you are my regular customer and since I had just changed some of the parts not long, you just drive and give me the feedback. If it is ok, then you pay me.”

I had a pleasant surprised! I had never expected this to happen – getting things done and yet not paying upfront. When I went back to my desk, I was smiling and thinking out loud. The thoughts of how Uganda had come so far. I remembered when I was here back then, everything was in cash and you have to pay up front first. There is no such thing as credit because most of the common people here making a decent living are surviving from hand to mouth. There were no savings and extra income in their pocket. All their savings and assets were robbed overnight under the hands of Idi Amin. Their experience during his regime had made them believe a better tomorrow did not exist. Many did not believe in keeping for rainy days. whatever they have, they will spent them.

With this gesture from my mechanic, I came to realized that slowly Ugandans are beginning to understand that all were not lost. There is a better tomorrow if the country is not at war, be it externally or internally. Ugandans are sick and tired of war. They want to move ahead and progress. This is a good sign.

Before my mechanic left, I told him please give me the bill, I would like to pay him so that he can maintain a good cash flow. Joyfully, he repeated, “I know you, I know your house, You had been staying here for so long. You are already a Ugandan, you won’t run away. I thrust you to help me save my money.”

That was heartwarming.

Little Honey Man

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From the desk of Lesster Leow © 2017 for Little Honey Man

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