Richard Branson II

Sunday March 22, 209

Today I was upcountry visiting a rice farm in Isikiro village, Buwaaya subcounty in Mayuge district. That sounds like it’s far away though in reality it’s only a two hour drive from Kampala. So, there we were traipsing all over hot rural dusty Busoga learning all about the planting of upland rice when it became necessary to find and speak to a potential supplier of electric power to power the rice mill which would hull the rice before its sent off to the buyer, you.

We then went looking for a guy who we knew had started the process of getting an electric connection to learn from his experiences. When he came upon him, he was supervising the felling of a tree in someone’s compound. This is where the fun begins. Apparently our guy, lets call him boda-boda businessman, BBB, had gone to a village youth, VY, who had a couple of extra trees on his acreage and bought a living tree from him. When BBB turned up to harvest his tree with a work crew in tow, he had them fell the tree and slice it up into planks of timber. The bicyclists he’d hired to ferry away the timber were loading it up when we arrived and shortly after is when the drama started.

VY showed up in a huff, interrupting our own meeting with BBB, and demanded his rightful share of the bounty from the tree cutting. Apparently, VY expected that he’d receive the tree bark and the branches, leaving BBB to ferry away the stem, now sliced into planks of timber. Even though BBB was gracious enough to request VY to let us finish our meeting before his issues could be resolved, this was too good to pass up on so we insisted that VY gets his issues sorted first. And sort them out BBB did, with a style and panache that knocked the socks off my feet.

BBB politely informed VY that when he, BBB, bought the tree from VY, he “bought the entire tree” right from the tips of its outermost leaves to the depths of its deepest roots. Therefore everything at both ends and in between belonged to him, BBB. For good measure he added, if he wanted he would be within his rights to carry off the roots and all the leaves that had fallen off the branches during the felling process. He had after all, bought the tree, all of it.

That alone made my Busoga trip so totally worth the time, heat and discomfort.

Richard Branson II

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