I opened this page to start writing like four hours ago. Then I started following the vote tally (well tried to follow) online and somehow, that took up all my time. Lol! Well, now I’m back to it.
Yesterday, 18th February, 2016 I voted. Not just myself, but plenty of other Ugandans as well. Someone needs to check, this might have been the most widely attended election we have had.
I have been blessed to be alive for 5 Presidential elections now. In 1996 and 2001, I was too young to take part. The days just went by. In 2006, I looked forward to it,not because I was going to vote, but because I was in high school at the time, and the school administration gave us the day off school to go home and vote. We were of voting age at the time. I wasn’t registered, so I used the day out to just enjoy home. In 2011, I honestly was not bothered, and still was not registered anyway.
But yesterday, I went. Last year, when we registered for national IDs, I made sure I registered to vote as well. Chose the polling station I wanted and everything. This polling station is like 50 feet from my bed, and I’m not even exaggerating. It is right outside my home. At the school (and church) neighboring my home. So distance was not going to be an issue.
It was such an experience. My parents and I made a plan to wake up really early. I mean, we live close by so we might as well be the first on the line and get done with it. My sleep had other plans though. LOL. I woke up a little later than we had planned, was hungry and decided to have my breakfast before I left to join the queue.
Getting there, there was a bit of confusion. We had four voting points at the whole station and we were grouped into clusters using the first letters of our last names. My parents and I did a search for the points and we ended up in different lines. They share a last name, I have my own. 🙂 My brother also, was on another line. It was his first time to vote as well.
And so the adventure begun.
My name starts ‘NAL’ and I ended up in a line with names between ‘NAKH – NAS’… now if you know anything about our last names in this country, especially in the central region, then you know finding a gentleman on this line was going to be very rare. But there was one gentleman, a family friend whose last name starts ‘NAN’.. I laughed when I saw him walk towards our line, because I didn’t think about him at all before. He was literally the only man on the line the whole time I was there. Now this is a line with ‘women and our ways’….our line was the only one with people seated on the sides because we just didn’t have the energy to stand the whole time. 😀 Being mothers, one in every 8 or 10 was expecting (visibly or not), and therefore had to be taken to the front of the line…another would walk to the line carrying a baby and that meant she goes to the front as well, because nobaaary was about to have a baby scorch in the heat….gentleman had to be calm the whole time. I think when he reached the front of the line he couldn’t believe his luck!
At some point the polling officers delayed and the angry ladies in the line reminded them how the line was only full of mothers of the nation, who had to go home and cook for their husbands and children!!!! I laughed so hard! It was hilarious. It was the only line with rants. The line became the polling station’s entertainment. As if they knew about it earlier, the people in charge appointed an old police officer lady to handle this particular line. I think they made a right call. Only her patience could handle that kind of situation.
Eventually, everyone voted. And peacefully. My station was actually done about half an hour to official closing time and the voters counted down to closing time so that they’d start the tally.
Now, if only there was a way I could get this iodine mark off my thumb????? I’ve tried everything. If I didn’t hate my chemistry classes so much, maybe I would remember some sort of concoction to mix! 😀
I voted. Did you?
Stay safe! x