I spent part of my December holidays in Uganda. My pal was getting married. Actually, he’s more than a pal. He was my best man in my wedding. Since it was his time to bite the marital dust, I was returning the favour. This was probably the highlight of an otherwise tepid 2016.
You see, this pal of mine lives in Canada. That’s where he met his Ugandan babe. This love knows no boundaries I tell you. He’s what you may call my best friend. My boy. We’ve done all manner of stuff together. Had good times, bad times, ish ish times. I’d missed him, no lie. So it was good to hang out together. To try and relive those old days when we were young and silly. Don’t judge me, it’s just man love. Yes. There is such a thing.
We tried to go to a strip club in Nairobi, like back in the day. When we were young and unencumbered by life. This strip club was different though. More refined than the places we’d frequent in our youth. We realised we’d caught on on age, when all we could do was stare at the women do their thing on the poles and we’d be cringing like new parents watching their child on the monkey bars. Some of those stunts were impressive I must say. We got a raw deal in our time. The strippers were not as athletic. Needless to say that night sojourn failed, and all we ended up doing was sipping whiskey and reminiscing the good old days.
Uganda was awesome though. Apart from spending time with my boy, the experience was wonderful. That thing they say about Ugandan women? The kneeling, the kindness, the child bearing hips? All true. I experienced it. Well I didn’t ‘experience’ the child bearing hips. Not that I wanted to. I should probably stop talking about the hips. Yes, every single thing I’d heard was true.
Worst part about Uganda, the heat. You can fry an egg. No. An omlette in that heat. Your car bonnet will suffice as a pan. I sweated litres on this trip. I mean I ordinarily sweat like a pig. I can’t stand heat. I’m the guy at the gym who has to wipe off every piece of equipment I use. And disinfect it too, before I get dirty looks. Even when I eat spicy food (which I love), I get a wet patch on my now balding head. I sweat. Alot. So heat is definitely trying for me. My pal converted to Islam to marry this wonderful Baganda girl. And so, we had to dress up in Kanzus for the wedding. If anyone is interested, I have baked internal organs to donate when this world spits me out. It was like some practical joke. But it was a blessed one all the same.
I learnt a few things on that trip that December. Simple lessons for an otherwise tough year.
Sometimes in life you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.
We traversed Kampala buying cooking oil, flour, copious amounts of juice and sodas and water as gifts for the bride’s family. We braved the heat and the stress and the traffic. We partied hard in the night and were up early to carry out various tasks leading up to the day. All because we had to get this guy married. And such is life. Sometimes you just have to get up and show up.
Forget your problems and your pains sometimes. Look out for people. Help them and be there for them. Where a coat and Kanzu in the blistering heat. You’ll sweat but you won’t die. And even if you do, at least you were there. We focus so much on fickle achievements and selfish goals but sometimes you just need to be there for people. That’s enough.
At the end, it’s all fun.
Many times in life there’ll be tough days. There’ll be days you don’t want to get up. There’ll be days you don’t want to show up. But in the end it’s all worth it. And you can laugh and toast to having come out alive on the other side. Savour that moment and enjoy the bliss. Then wake up the next day to take on the next challenge.
On that note, I hope to live those lessons. It won’t be easy, but a hand towel would have no purpose if there was no sweat. I don’t know about you, but I’ll try to be the best man I can be. To myself, to those around me. Or just simply to be.
Here’s to an awesome 2017.