Life is Cruel…..that is why we must be hopeful

November 22, 2013


Somewhere in Northern Uganda many years ago….

The Chinaman cocoa planter of Gabundi estate looked from a hill in the distance as the Akholi tanks rolled into his plantation. He stood there on the same spot through out the afternoon, evening and even through the dead of night right to dawn.

There he stood on the hill watching it all…his farm razed, distant gun shots renting to the shrills of the fallen. Even his tall Matabali 40 something wired framed bodyguard, who had the unusual habit of carrying a karfu spear and a Kahasilli bow, instead of the de riguer AK47 – even he lowered his eyes along with the many braves who watched the carnage from a hidden thicket in the a distance.

They all lowered their eyes – when the saw spired wooden church the Shahidi has built for the Bavarian nun, Eva Mayer – the Chinaman Cocoa planter of Gabundi estate was good with his hands, he could hammer a steel girdle into a ruler. He could weld and so one day….he decided to built a Bavarian church for his one and only love – Eva Meyer.

Yet the Chinaman Cocoa Planter who stood that night peering into night never lowered his eyes.

He just looked on as the fires raged on through the night. From time to time, he would light a cigarillo or pop another Mentos into his restless mouth – he just looked on through and beyond the place he was in and beyond it, to another realm….another place….faraway from this place called hell….to a place that could only be called hope.

Many years latter a wooden legged Sudanese who had a habit of lounging in one of the many tea houses in the emigre quarter of Cairo. A man who claimed to be one of heroes of the Ascension wars would be heard murmuring in whispers. As that is how the Adamako tribe who once served the Shahidi would speak of chieftain – even a dead one – with his right hand over his mouth and in hushed whispers….the emigre that became his tribe would one day say when they sip their pipping hot Sudanese cardamon flavored tea,

‘He watched on through the night… they burnt down everything in his plantation…..he even looked hopeful….I wonder why? Did he perhaps see paradise like a man who stands behind and veil just before it was parted…

He looked hopeful. So very hopeful.”

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