Alex picked up James and I and we headed for his village of Kasozi (pronounced Cassoss) where we were going to have another Christmas with Alex’s family. Also in the van was one of his brothers Mike, who had not been working away and had not been home for some time.
I had contacted him and he jumped at the idea of giving his mum a surprise of turning up for Christmas so he had travelled to Jinja on Christmas Day to join us. I must let those of you who are new to my newsletters have my story about Alex and his family as they have become a big part of my Uganda life over the years!
The traffic was very light until we turned off onto the rough track that leads to Kasozi. There were people and animals everywhere and with the uneven surface Alex had a hard job steering between all the ‘obstacles’! Everyone seemed happy though and my hand ached from waving to each shout of Mzungu! Alex’s mum Monica was waiting outside her compound when we arrived and started laughing and running down towards her home leading the way, clapping her hands.
Alex had to be careful not to run her over! She gave Mike a gentle handshake and hug but her expression showed how happy she was to see him. Such a very different lady to the one I first met and was trying to persuade to come back home and look after her family after she had been abused and chased away by her late husband’s brothers following his death. Now she is a proud, happy and hard working mum to her seven sons and I love going to see her.
The story of this family is another one that I will pass on to my new Uganda E-mailers soon!
On arrival I am always taken into their small living room which is always neat and tidy, I think waiting for its next visitor. But that ends as soon as I arrive with my multitude of luggage! Mum scurries around to bring in mats and move tables nearer to where I sit so that all my belongings can be off the dusty floor. She does this in complete silence her body partially bent in respect for her guest but with a broad smile on her face! Once I am settled she then gives me the formal greeting, down on her knees, both hands holding one of mine and clearly saying her few words of English “You are most welcome Mum Gerry”.
Then formalities over and still kneeling she puts her arms around me for one of the many hugs she will give me during the day, her head turning from one side to the other on my lap muttering in her own language and showing her obvious delight at my being there. James, who had been chatting to the boys, then came in and she gave him the formal greeting too but with a more serious expression and many more words with lots of ‘Hums’ to and fro between them. This ‘humming’ is difficult to explain until you witness it.