Olive met me at the bus terminal back in Kampala, and we rode a boda boda back to her place. She’d invited me to have lunch with William and her family. She cooked us up quite the feast, complete with a mountain of matoke, pumpkin, cassava, a peanut dressing for the cassava, rice, beef stew, and more. Olive’s father had many questions about Canada, and I was happy to answer them all. He seemed like a very honourable and noble man.
After lunch I was to meet Matija and Bryan for dinner. (Uri likes to eat!) Olive insisted on coming along on the boda boda just to make sure I arrived in one piece. I really wished she hadn’t, because the ride did not end well.
First, our boda got a flat tire and we had to find a new one. When we asked this new driver to take us to Victory Church, where Matija was to meet me, his buddy told him in their language to take us to the next stage and just leave us there so we’d have to pay more for another boda driver. Thankfully, Olive understood all of this and put them both in their place.
Then we ended up going to the wrong place. Unfortunately, there is apparently more than one Victory Church in Kampala, and we ended up way north of the city. It took almost 40 minutes on a boda. The boda dropped us off exactly where Google Maps told us to go, but there was no church to be found. We walked around and a local person told us that Victory Church had moved to a new location several blocks away. We hopped on another boda and found the new and improved Victory Church.
However, just as Toad told Mario so many times, “Sorry, Uri, but your Matija is in another church.” When I messaged Matija again, he explained that he lived in Ntinda. That was going to be another 40 minutes back into the city.
The initial plan was to meet up in time to enjoy sunset on Matija and Lucy’s balcony with a nice cold beer. By this point, it was 7:30 and completely dark.
Then the unthinkable happened. And it happened literally a block from our final destination.
Our boda was behind a car, on his left hand side. There was a fork in the road ahead. The car turned left at the very last minute, and our boda crashed right into him. We collapsed to the floor, and pain shot through my right arm after it took all the impact. It wasn’t broken or anything; just momentarily throbbing.
The thing is, bodas don’t really go particularly fast here, so even when there is a collision, it’s not likely to be life-threatening. I’d seen a collision between two bodas the previous week, and they just crumpled to the floor awkwardly.
Olive looked shaken, though. There was an oval of skin missing on her cheek where she’d scraped it on the concrete.
The driver emerged and apologized profusely. He admitted that his mind was a million miles away and he hadn’t been paying attention to the road. We took his information, and Olive said he would take her to the clinic the next day and pay for any necessary expenses.
Impressively enough, several witnesses came forward and urged us to hold the man accountable and make sure he paid for everything he owed us.
This meet up had turned into a journey and a half.
Once we finally met up with Matija, poor Olive hopped on yet another boda and finally went home. I asked her if she wanted to stay for a bit, but she just wanted to get home to her little boy.
Sadly, this was how Olive and I said goodbye. I was set to head off to Entebbe the next day, so I wouldn’t see her again.
I hope that she gets the job she’s waiting to hear about in Norway, because that will help her provide a good life for little Darien, and that’s all she wants out of this life. Even after the accident, she kept talking about how the first thought that flashed through her mind was her boy. “I’m glad I am still alive so I can take care of my son,” she said.
After she disappeared, Matija and I went into Generous Pork Joint for, well, some pork. Bryan eventually joined us, and we ordered even more pork!
With our bellies full, we said our goodbyes and Matija and I headed to his place.