A market trip to Kiwoko on Saturday is always an adventure and yesterday was no exception. Christina and I squeezed into a car with some other folks and headed down the road which is considerably narrower these days since it has piles of dirt waiting for the graders to come along. When we reached town we dashed off to quickly buy our fruit and vegetables aware that there were large dark clouds overhead. Christina went in one direction to point out to some friends where to buy bananas and I went in another direction to get tomatoes. It was then that the wind picked up and the first drops began to fall.
When rains comes all the vendors scurry to cover their wares and everyone else runs for cover. People hide under tables and on the porches of shops. I squeezed onto the porch of someone's house as the rain fell in torrents.
A few minutes later I felt a tap on my shoulder and heard someone say "She wants you to enter." An elderly lady stood behind the curtain that is her door beckoning me. I ducked inside a small room already filled with others who have fled the storm. They made space for me on a bed where a small boy was sleeping, oblivious to the storm raging outdoors. The old lady touched my arm and laughed and then pointed to a faded piece of paper taped to the wall. The paper revealed that my hostess has a certificate as a birth assistant from Kiwoko hospital. I smile and congratulated her in my feeble Luganda. This brought more laughter and then everyone settled down for a good chat as the storm continued. The roof soon began to leak and battered old tins were quickly put in place and everyone shifted position. The old lady occasionally peeked out the door and I could see a river of mud cascading down the road.
The afternoon wore on and the old lady continued to hold court clearly enjoying her company. Eventually the drumming on the roof eased to a 'pitter-patter' and I saw people begin to emerge from their hiding places. I thanked my hostess who gave me a hug and I slipped through the curtain to the muddy street.
Before too long it was business as usual as vendors uncovered their wares and the bargaining began again. I spotted Christina who had found shelter in the home of a brother of one of the students at our secondary school. We finished our market shop but before heading home I quickly dashed back to give the old lady a bunch of bananas as a thank you. My last glimpse of her brought a smile to my face. She had a story to tell and so do I.