“People are not palm nuts, self-contained.” Ugandan Proverb
“People are nuts.” Johnson Proverb
These are some of the comments from our friend who helped Travis search for these various leaders in the community:
Trek through gardens and creeks, they found the Local Leader A (LLA). Check!
In pursuit of Local Leader B (LLB), they went on a newly carved dirt road.
“THIS is development, doctor.”
After he was not at his house, our friend suggested going to the LLB’s other house. When Travis asked how many houses the LLB has, our friend replied “I think he has three as he has three wives. We should check all of them.” Upon not finding him at any, we wonder if there is a wife #4. LLB? No check.
Upon reaching LLC’s house, the deputy and four council members were there waiting on the absent LLC. The deputy cheerfully said “I would love to sign it for you, but I have lost my key to the office.” LLC? No check.
After giving up on the signature of the LLC for the time, a 45 minute drive to Bundibugyo Town took them to the office of the Head Security Leader (HSL). Travis and friend sat for two hours on the wooden bench greeting people who came in and then asking them for the number of the HSL. One of those people was the Chief of Police. Surely, the chief of police would have the phone number of the head security leader right?
“No, that one does not give out his number to us. Otherwise, we would call him.”
Walking around, Travis and friend found the LLC. Joy! Travis presented him with the papers for his signature. Upon seeing that the LLB had not yet signed the paper, he said that he would not sign it as “You see, doctor, in Uganda, there is protocol.”
Well, can you help me find the HSL? “No, I have to sign it first” But of course wouldn’t due to lack of LLB’s signature.
Determined to not to leave town until they had a signature, Travis and friend walked to do an errand, to buy motor oil. Not at the gas station. Not at the second gas station. Not at the hardware store.
“Doctor, why is it that everywhere we go, we are bouncing?”
After praying for something to work out, they found motor oil at the little shop that sold paint, stationary, and oil.
Then more sitting at the office of the HSL. Finally, they located someone who had his number. When they called him, he was cheerful and polite, but not around. He said that he could come next week. When Travis told him of the urgency, he said that he could have someone sign it on his behalf.
Travis: “Like your deputy?”
DSO: “No, but he is a good friend.”
The friend came. Signature! Celebration Sodas at the Hotel Vanilla.
“This is an executive place!”
“And you are my executive officer.”
“In that case, doctor, I will have a Fanta Orange.”
And then they came home…to find those other signatures tomorrow.