Monday, January 31, 2011

Blood, goats and roaches...almost settled

 Blood, goats and roaches
Having located a room for my stay here in Ndejje,  Uganda.  I proceeded today in getting kitted up for the move in.  Things were a bit delayed, as my friends car had to be repaired on the way to giving me a lift.  This was due to an incident last night which marked a slight horrific start to my stay. Last night, having just seated ourselves outside Miki's bar in Monyonyo with a vodka tonic, two boda's collided. One got away with pretty sever concussion, whilst the other spun, hit his head on my mate's car and lay in front of us gasping for life.  His head injuries were extremely severe and we doubt he survived the night. 

I was rather shaken up by the sudden change; relaxed evening drinking scene to grotesque blood bath, but the incident wasn't the most disturbing part of this evening.  It was the reaction to the body... the first person who ran to help, flipped the guy right over, on his front, which I think was a response to stop him choking, but I was pretty sure this was not the appropriate recovery position.  Somebody phoned the police - they weren't picking, and no one was prepared to drive him to the hospital, as they knew they would be held responsible.  Everyone just stood staring at the body and each other realising that there was nothing they were prepared to do to help. This really was one of the most desperate scenarios I have encountered.  Ten minutes at least went by before someone claiming to be his brother had succefully begged an escort, whilst the pup owner paid a small contribution to the fuel cost and fare.  Aparently there was a policeman there watching the whole thing, and did not respond.  They talked of the most likely responce from the dialed 999, (in the chance that they had picked up the call) would have been something like... 'Well....have you got fuel to get him to the hospital?... because for us... we have none'

Anyhow, the blip where the head met the car got fixed, and on the way I picked up the following essentials for my Ugandan hideout:
A wash basin, jerry can, kettle, padlock, torch, mosquitto net, cup, candles, and matches,
And with that I am happy and settled.  The girls, Ediths daughters, moved a bed and mattress in from there place and made the bed in military fashion, so precise, hospital corners, etc.  They then cleaned my floor, hung the net, put down some mats, and moved my bags, clothes and things around until they felt  they were all in the most suitable positions (:  
In the evening we played a handmade ludo game, and brushed up my basic L'uganda vocab and phrases. I was tired and ready for bed at around 8, so I went off to my room.  I was quite unaware I was going to be visited and re-welcomed by almost everyone in the family group until about 10.30. Even my new landlord had time to pay a visit, sitting on my hand weaved (by Edith) mat for a good 20 minutes, greeting me and adding to the gossip and general chatter passed between the then 6 people gathered in my room.  Having spent most of my teenage and adulthood living and sleeping solo...I found it rather ironic that one of the main subjects people were concerned with last night was whether I would fear being alone.   Not only did I have 6 people in my room at the time, and Uganda's love for load music and beat follow you through the day and night...But there is an endless wailing of a babe crying from  every direction.  In short, I did not feel in the least 'alone'.  Rough statistics? In this inlet of Ndejje, there are around 3 family networks.  consisting of maybe 15 adults in total, and 11 new borns. The rest are children at properly 25 or more.  
first encounter with my neighbours...
 Later that night, a lizard poked my head and tugged at my hair, I failed to use the latrine due to a fear of flying cockroaches, and (.....in the pitch darkness, thinking it was a frightened child)....tried to befriend a goat. 

To be continued....

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