Monday, 2 January 2012

Revenge of the Cockroaches

(Written in Wakiso)
Last night was the worst night I've had since I have been in Uganda.
I woke up to thunderous rains like I’ve never heard before. It was as though Noah's Ark was coming. The time was 2am, and I did not go to sleep after that.
Lying in bed, thinking (like I do too much), I noticed a large-not to mention, grossly juicy cockroach crawling on my mosquito net. (Okay okay, I know this is Africa, but due to a traumatic experience in Sri Lanka, I have a deep fear of these little “animals.”)
Frozen in fear, I noticed another… then another… and another… It was as though I was infested!
Immediately, I felt trapped. I began to panic.
I had to leave.
So at 5am, I quickly gathered my clothes, toothbrush, and notebook… and ran out of the house just as I was.
It was pitch black, as there are no street lights, and it was still pouring with rain.
With a lantern and alarm in one hand, and my knife in the other, I set out to my training site.
Having only taken the swampy-like “short-cut,” and knowing it was the more “dangerous” choice, I opted for the longer route on unfamiliar roads.
Needless to say, it wasn’t long before I was utterly lost, in absolute darkness.
Before long, I crossed paths with about thirty army men dressed all in black. It was so dark, I only recognized them by the whites of their eyes. Great, I thought, this is it. I clenched my knife, knowing I would not be much competition, but walked on by without incident.
After maybe an hour, or an hour and a half of walking “on instinct,” I noticed the headlights of a matatu taxi bus, and didn’t even need to flag them down, as they always stop, hoping to pick up a mzungu. Though there were only two men inside, I weighed my options, jumped inside, and asked them to take me to the “Wakiso Taxi Park” as I knew I could find my way to the training center from there (even though the walking distance from there is quite a trek too).
After driving for what seemed like too long, I realized that they were taking me to the bus park in the next town! Beyond irritable at this point, I got out of the taxi without paying, and waited on the side of the road for another half an hour before getting picked up by a taxi going in the opposite direction.
Exhausted, I arrived at my training center just a few minutes before my language class started, and only three hours after I had left my home.
This experience made me ponder... Do you stay in an uncomfortable situation even if you feel trapped? Or do you leave, unaware of the dangers ahead?

1 comment:

  1. I read this before, but thought I'd officially reply. Wow, Jenn! Sounded like you really needed a friend - or at least a familiar face - on this day. You are amazing. Since this day, you've seen and experienced many more things. You've grown so much! Makes me wonder what coming home will be like of you. We probably will all seem silly to you after a year and a half in Africa!