A belated post from Gerry.
When I need a break from the quietness of St James I give my good friend Innocent a call and he comes on his motorbike and takes me back to his bar, Merembe, Peace Bar, though it is far from peaceful as he has music playing constantly, people popping in and out and the local buses have a stop right outside. But I relax and enjoy the coming and going, chatting to the locals though limited by our understanding of each others language, and watching the children who live either side enjoying being children! Today young ones were playing with a mat rolling up inside it, laughing and fighting like children the world over. Two older boys were swirling around and around one of the metal poles that holds up the roof of their tiny room seeing who could keep their feet off the ground the longest. When they saw me videoing they performed even more excitedly! I will put it on Youtube when I return to UK!
These people are used to seeing this Mzungu at Innocents place and I always get a smile of welcome. No more do the toddlers shy away and cry at my white face. Oh and I forgot to mention he sells ice cold Nile Beer!!
We were a little late leaving but how glorious the scene as we crossed the swamp. The sun was setting, a beautiful red, many birds were fishing for supper and the water lilies and other flowers although they were closing up looked beautiful. Several men were fishing, a lady was collecting her cow from its daytime pasture and others completing threshing of the rice. The only thing to spoil the enjoyment if I let it was of course the suicide buses hurtling passed and the heavy and unstable sugar cane trucks with men balanced high on the top that spray their dust onto you, but I try not to think of them too much or if I do I think about the times I have almost get knocked off my pedal bike in Poynton! Life is a risk and I couldn’t get around out here without using a boda so I just have to go for it. I do choose my drivers very carefully such as Innocent who I trust completely. When I have to use strange drivers I ask them if they are good drivers and of course they all say an emphatic yes. Then I tell them they won’t get paid if they drive too fast and it usually works. There was one time when James and I were out together, James on a separate boda. After a while I stopped my boda, got off and asked James to swap. All three men looked rather surprised to say the least! My boda had refused to slow down, was showing off celebrating the fact that he was driving a Mzungu so I took action. Self-preservation I call it!
Innocent was going on to Kamuli for a family meeting and I needed a stretch of legs – too much sitting recently! So I got him to drop me at the end of the lane that led to the school. He teased me that the Nile Beer would make me get lost or fall in the deep muddy ditches caused by the heavy rain the previous day. Cheeky young man! Mind you I must admit one Nile Beer does have a very pleasant after effect – chilled!
There was just enough time to bathe before sundown and I did so in full view of the bright moon. No worries, only me and the moon! I wonder what Gem will think of my wonderful facilities, she arrives tomorrow!