How did you meet your Boda guy?

How did you meet your boda guy? Almost everyone has a boda guy. Not a random one who you find at the stage and ask him to take you to place B, but one you can call and he picks you from wherever or have him run an errand or something like that.

Yes, that guy, how did you meet him?

Today I met mine. I have lots of boda guys, and before today, that definition fitted any of them who took me any given day. For the moment of the journey, he’d be my boda guy. But this afternoon I met theeeee one. The real deal.

After lunch, I needed to get to school real quick and pick up my graduation documents and apparel for next week. Yup!!! I’m graduating. And my marks are faaar from shabby! So good actually, I’ve already shared this with some people. That kind of good news that is too good, it overwhelms you, you tell just a few people. Lol. But for that, I thank the Lord.

Back to boda story.

I went to this stage, called one of the guys and told him where I wanted to go. I also mentioned to him that I might or might not have escaped from my desk so I asked him to use a specific route, avoiding another. He understood and signaled me to sit, as if, say no more, I gat you. Along the way he asked if I wanted him to wait for me so he brings me back….I told him what I was going to do might take a bit of time but we’d see about it.

When we reached school, I decided I didn’t want to make him wait. I paid him the to-fare and told him if I wasn’t back in 2 minutes, it was okay for him to leave me. I took foreeeever. Okay about 25minutes. And I figured since I had already paid him, no need to rush through anything, I took my time. When I was done, I walked out the school gate and to my shock, he was there! I literally said waaaaiiirrraaaminute! Si gwe wandeese? Those were my exact words by the way.

He laughed and responded affirmative. I told him he wasn’t serious and asked him why he waited that long. His response, ‘you said you run away from your desk, I have to take you back.’ he said that in luganda

My eyes were still wide open. Several good things have happened to me this week, I did not expect something of this sort, though.

So I sat and said my thank yous and told him we could go. I later told him I was going to take his number because I think I’ll be needing him again. And when we reached, I asked how much he wanted and he said whatever I was willing to pay him…..and he was serious. Who was this guy???? So anyway, I gave him 1k more than I’d even planned to, and then took his number and name.

So that is how I met my boda guy…how did you meet yours?

What have you done?

I am a girl woman so every month I get a visitor. One that only God and Biology can explain. A necessary visitor, a reminder that my body is working fine and ideally I should be glad about it. Thankful even.

Every month even when the visitor calls, with all the effects that come with it, I have to respond, then wake up and show up where I’m supposed to be and I’m expected to operate normally like my body isn’t experiencing world war III. Lucky for me, I can take the necessary precautions, the most important being having a constant supply of sanitary wear.

During a certain Presidential campaign, one of the candidates at the time promised free sanitary wear for village school girls, so that they don’t miss school on those days. Candidate won. But later his Education Minister declared that the country did not have money to fulfill the campaign promise. Cue Dr. Stella Nyanzi.

A few weeks ago while walking along the toiletries aisle in the supermarket I stopped and considered getting some sanitary wear very well knowing I did not need them at the time; nonetheless, I wanted to be sure I had ‘stock’. Just in case. I then wondered how terrified these school girls in the village must be. Getting embarrassed before the boys at school and they can’t even do anything about it and in the end opt to stay away from school for a couple of days…or a week. Justifiably so. For a three months school term, that would mean, three weeks off school. A lot can be missed in three weeks.

Dr. Stella Nyanzi (Ph.D.) waged a verbal war on the system and somehow managed to collect funds and supplied a great deal of free sanitary wear to girls who’d otherwise not be able to afford it. I’m not as bold as the Doctor; but nze nga nze, me as me, feel I should be able to contribute to this good cause in a way.

I thought about the frequent village trips I do in a year and on top of all the other things bought to be taken to the village, I’ll start adding a couple of packets of sanitary wear. For the young girls in the village, or the neighborhood or even strangers. I know they will need them; and hopefully keep them in school a week longer. 🙂

What have you done?

Taking Stock: 31-12-16

Taking Stock: 31-12-16

Wharra year it’s been!

Many have said 2016 has been something else. In a not-so-good way. It has also been a year of firsts, political firsts…and other not so ordinary happenings. Some even believed perhaps this is world end?

We definitely were not ready. But then again, we never can be. That bit, God left out. We certainly can’t tell the future or plan well enough for it, for he decides how exactly in unfolds….I still need to understand though if things like the bombings in Aleppo are ever part of his plan. Does God let war happen? I need someone to explain this to me and make me understand it.

My 2016 has also been something else. However, in a not-so-bad way. I have lived. Truly lived. And loved.  I have grown. Met amazing people, made new networks and connections, re-connected, registered my own firm, finalised masters class, met targets, exceeded targets…..if it were a concert, I’ve definitely got my money’s worth.

And no, this does not mean it was all smooth….the downs were definitely there. Plenty. But see, part of the growing, was learning not to dwell on the downs. Downs are life’s way of calling half time on you…sometimes a necessary half time when you’re moving way too fast. But just like in any game, half time is re-charge time…and then you get back in the game and play even harder.

So here is a toast to 2016…for the lessons, the gifts, the half time and everything in between. To the ones we’ve lost, we definitely will miss and remember you. Always. To those who have lost, time heals everything….but each of us have different ‘times’, don’t bother rushing it. And God’s time is strange…to say the least… 2 Peter 3:8

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.

Happy 2017. May it be your take-back-your-life year.

Happy new Year!

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Christmas and tributes…… :-)

Christmas and tributes…… :-)

It is #UgBlogWeek yet again, and the last this year. There’s no theme this time and people can write about whatever they wanna! Sort of feels like setting one’s own exam and then answering it! LOL! So here goes……

My all-time favorite time of the year! Yes!!!!! CHRISTMAS!!!!! 🙂

Christmas has always been a happy time of the year for me. From when I was a child and my siblings and I still got Christmas presents to when we got older and that surplus money wasn’t there anymore. LOL. I kid. I joke. But when we reached an age where gifts were not that vital anymore and there was no crying if none were given.

Growing up, I developed a new meaning for the season, and yet it still remained my favorite time of the year…and maybe even more! There’s a joy that comes with it. A real, pure, unadulterated joy, from within that eventually oozes out. Somehow everyone is nicer and kinder and willing to share….something we strangely do not see often the earlier part of the year. (That’s why one of my favorite Christmassy song is from Sesame Street; keep Christmas with you…..all through the year)

My family tradition for Christmas is simply going to my maternal grandparents on Christmas Eve for the day, then getting back home and spending Christmas day at home. I don’t remember the last time I went to Church on Christmas day….the crowd that day is something else. So I choose to stay away. It has been like that since forever and because the village is not so far away from Kampala, the journey to and in a single day isn’t tiring at all. And the stay is long enough to make merry, visit the extended family, have a feast, etc.

That was the case until last year, 2015. Both my maternal grandparents passed on. One in June and the other in December. December 5th to be exact. Just a few days before Christmas. I woke up, drove to Mukono to supervise the site I was assigned that time, and I knew in a few hours, I was going to head back to Kampala and then to the hospital to pick my grandmother and bring her home. The plan was to surprise her because she always doubted my driving. LOL. For years she’d said she didn’t think I actually knew how to drive because I had never driven her. So this day, I wanted to. I was going to. She had been discharged. She was well. The life of the ward. The doctor had given her a green light because she was out of danger. So much that he didn’t think it was even necessary to prescribe anything. She’d undergone surgery for an intestinal obstruction weeks back and she lived through it. It was successful. She was good to go….God just had a different destination from what we thought was the obvious. After her breakfast and interacting with doctors and other patients all over the place, she sat on her bed to wait for her doctor to come sign her papers and see her off, and just like that her soul slipped away. Nobody noticed, not the doctors and not her caretaker. For a few minutes, nobody noticed her sudden silence or maybe they thought she’d just rested. Then her caretaker tried to ask her if everything was packed, and that’s when she noticed that she wasn’t napping but had died. Quietly, painlessly and I chose to believe she went happy. The doctors tried to resuscitate her but she was long gone. My mum says her soul ‘escaped’…because there is no way anyone would have accepted her goodbyes. And yet, that’s what she was doing that morning, come to think of it. Greeting everyone, wishing them well and telling them she was going. Turns out she was going to her eternal home. Her soul simply escaped.

So last year, my countdown to Christmas was blurry. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like. What Christmas Eve would be like. How were we going to go back? A few days after the funeral? Would we even go? Did we want to go? What would we talk about when we got there?

Days after December 5th passed. And Christmas got closer. My mum was something else. She still mourned. Her parents. Her children’s grandparents. Granddad was her best friend. I had no idea what to say or how to help and so I just made myself available. Present in case she needed something. I took leave with her. We tried to deal together.

December 24th came. We made that trip to the village. This time it was quieter than usual because we really had no idea what to expect on the other side. We bought a wreath. Two wreaths actually, for each of the graves. We’d only been there a few days before and the flowers from then were withered but not fully dry yet. But we still took some. For Christmas.

The neighborhood people were glad to have us; but still gave us that stare….of is it really the same? The same old Christmas Eve visit? That look of sympathy. At the village home, slow activity. My grandmother used to get things in motion. Everyone had something to do, so much activity happening at the same time and so much energy. But now she lay in her grave about 100m from her home. The energy was gone. Except for the children playing around and making noise, oblivious of the situation, the mood was not Christmassy.

It will be a year on Monday 5th. It will also be 20 days. Two more Mondays. Three Fridays. And then Christmas. I dread it….but I’ll wake up and go to work, and get distracted. It always works for days like those. I have no idea what it will be for my mum. I still remember the morning of 5th December last year. I remember seeing several missed calls from her and wondering why she’d called so many times knowing I was driving, and didn’t leave a message. I called back. I still have the screams from the other end of the phone line fresh in my mind. I fear the moment will come back fresh for her. I pray it’s gentle.

Christmas still brings me joy, but now it also reminds me of a bit of my heart that had to leave.

So, to that bit of my heart, I will see you soon. Also, I will bring you flowers on Christmas Eve.

heart

Keep Christmas with you
All through the year
When Christmas is over
Save some Christmas cheer
These precious moments
Hold them very dear
And keep Christmas with you
All through the year
Christmas means the spirit of giving
Peace and joy to you
The goodness of loving
The gladness of living;
These are Christmas too…

-Sesame Street

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