Monday, August 10, 2009

Jam and Fish

Jam and Fish

The fake news of today:

Fake.  Fake.  Fake.  I guess, considering the number of vehicles on the road, percentage wise, this is not too great of a number.  However, when you read the article and realise that of the 30,000 drivers that UTODA has registered, only 20,000 have authentic licences--and we're just talking public transportation here, not even getting into private vehicles--seizing 1000 fake permits is just a drop in the bucket when considering all of the illegal drivers on these roads.  

Kind of makes you want to go out for a stroll along the road sides...  

Just on Friday, I was walking with a friend down from Nakawa to Lugogo.  As you come down the hill, approaching the petrol station, the sidewalk begins.  There is even a built-up brick barricade to separate the insanity of the road from the pedestrians.  My friend and I were strolling along, reflecting on the two cups of coffee there were just poured onto his lap by the waiter at Good African Coffee and making a plan to go back to where I'm housesitting to use the washer and drier to clean him up, when this annoying and incessant hooting (honking) began.  I'm pretty good at tuning out the background noises, but it was getting to be too much, so I turned around to see what was going on.  Behind me, on the sidewalk, was a Land Rover wanting me to give it right of way.  Stubborn as I am, and not really thinking about by personal safety (steel of the Land Rover--and I don't know how much horse-power--versus flesh and bone and my 69 kilos) I smiled and waved at the driver and proceeded with my leisurely pace and conversation with my friend.  When the sidewalk joined the entrance to the petrol station and widened, the driver whipped the Land Rover to the side of us, lowered the window and angrily yelled:  "Didn't you hear my horn!?!"  Not exercising excellent composure, and loosing control of expletives, I informed the driver of the whereabouts of the road and contrast that with the whereabouts of the sidewalk and its purpose.  

Now that I've vented and gotten that story out of my system,  let me share with you the highlight of my weekend.  

My friend, Kene's, birthday was last week.  I received an email with this announcement in it: 

I will be taking 10 refugee children out for a day of fun, love and recreation and have asked some of the great friends I have made in the course of my two years in Uganda to join me. These children are kids living with single mothers and unaccompanied minors.  I am hoping that we will be able to fill their day with smiles and hopefully be inspired to continue to do so in the future.

In lieu of gifts, he asked for school supplies be brought to assist these children as they return to school.  It truly was a fun day at the beach (Anderita Beach, Entebbe), and I am so thankful that Kene extended this invitation to me.  I've become a bit of a cynic lately, and Saturday's outing helped to remind me of what's really important in life.

Two of the kids are brothers who arrived in Uganda alone after their parents were brutally murdered in the conflict in DR Congo. They belong to a discriminated tribe in the DR Congo which would make their condition challenging living in the refugee settlement. The older boy suffered broken ribs in the hands of rebels and is currently being treated here in Kampala.

The small things...

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