Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Twas the Night Before Christmas…

And all through the story, Michael was unable to use, iambic pentameter. Rhyming aside, I do have a warm and fuzzy Christmas tale to tell.

I was going to go stay with the volunteers Fran and Tom Mcguirk for X-mas, so I headed off on X-mas eve to meet them in Gulu, which at the time, I thought to be the city closest to their site.

Well, I was wrong. Battery dying, I got a call in Gulu from Fran and asked when they could come to town and guide me back to their site. Well, their site is nowhere near Gulu. It’s near a place called Kamdini Corner about 70Km back towards Kampala. The time was fast approaching when the buses shut down for the holiday, but I managed to get on the very last one. I told the conductor I needed to get off at Kamdini Corner and he said that would be fine. Things seemed to be turning back in my favor. Well a couple hours later I inquired as to where we were and I was then told that we passed Kamdini Corner about 45Km ago. I forced the bus to stop and let me off, and proceeded to teach the Ugandans in earshot the meaning of the words “fuck” and “bus” and all their possible combinations.

So there I was; 8 o’clock at night; phone dead; some podunk trading center 45Km away from where I need to be; and no buses would be coming the right direction till morning. So I do the only sensible thing and stick out my thumb to hitch a ride.

About 40 min passes by when a car stops and picks me up. It was a Ugandan named Denis Okello and his family who were traveling to visit their relatives in Gulu and are willing to give me a lift up to Kamdini. We start making conversation and I remark how grateful I am that he picked me up. He then tells me that he never picks up hitchhikers, even the muzungu ones. The reason he stopped for me was that I looked exactly like an Italian missionary he knew 20 years ago in Zaire. I even dressed like him. The Italian missionary’s name, was Michael. 0_o. And it keeps on going. Denis works for a medical supply company and knows the hospital Fran works at. So instead of just getting to Kamdini, I get dropped off at the gate of the hospital where Fran and Tom live in time to enjoy the last hours Christmas Eve.

The only thing missing was a crackling fire in front of which I could tell this Yule-tide affirming story. The internet will have to do…

No comments:

Post a Comment