It’s been some days since my last writing, since just after Christmas, so please, everyone, receive my heartfelt wishes to you all for a very Happy New Year!
On that very day, the 1st day of 2012, in reaction to circumstances Vincent informed me of that suggested it was not wise for me to remain at the site that night, I left the children and the center unexpectedly and rather quickly, and walked along the trail in the dark toward Mutufu with Vincent and Toppy. With zero chance of a public taxi running then, the time of departure of the “special hire” taxi Vincent had called ahead to arrange – a matatu that he planned to accompany me back to Mbale in – was somewhere around 8 or 9pm.
After we had fiddled around getting drinks and a bun for the ride into town and just as we prepared to slide closed the van door and pull away from the trading center, a group of people including two women and a few men came running out of the dark, noisy, busyness of the area, all calling out quite frantically, one of the men carrying in his arms a small child wrapped in a blanket. Quickly we learned there had been a fire in a home.. the child’s body was severly burned.. her younger sister, a baby, had already died in the fire.. the parents were not around.. these were relatives that lived close by.. where we were going..? could we take them to the hospital in Mbale..?
Moments like that.. the amazing synchronicity we can sometimes appreciate so clearly in life.. I forgot why I thought I was leaving the area as we flung open the door and reached to help the adults and beloved little girl in this most painful and exceptionally frightening moment for them all.
A deep and reverent silence fell over the matatu as we bounced our way along the dirt road for half an hour, then onto pavement for another 30 minutes, and then over and around more potholes as we eventually entered Mbale around 10:30pm or so. The child cried out, gently, weakly, only a very few times, her little body in deep shock, hanging on to life. Finally we arrived at the hospital, and everyone except for me, even the driver, ran with the child into the emergency, while I stayed with the running vehicle.
Was it one day, or maybe two later when I learned that our sweet one had passed, it was on the news, someone said. She had joined her little sister in The Land of Forever and Ever Love.
From what we could understand, it seemed Dad, a boda boda driver was working, and Mom decided to go to the trading center for a soda or something. It is said the fire was small, contained.. was it wind that blew the mosquito net near to the parrafin lantern, I’m not sure. But that kind of fire does seem to be one of the most common in these parts, another reason to greatly appreciate the invention of solar power lanterns and to help educate about them, support and promote their use..
Blessings and Love to our little New Year Angel Sisters ~ Rest In Peace Darling Babies ~ Blessings and Love to your Mom, your Dad, all your family and friends ~
A few other events having stacked upon that night, I’ve taken some days respite since then. I have just arrived in Kampala today (Saturday) accompanying Eilis here – fellow LITA Board member and Secretary – on her way to Entebbe for her departure tomorrow after a week in Uganda. I’m hanging in KLA for a few days and plan to catch up here with some writing.. so, more soon, dear family and friends..