Hitting a Cow

A wonderful week in Gulu, Northern Uganda, has kept me away from the web but now that I am back I have so many stories to tell. Let's start with the trip up to Gulu. We were cruising along and around 40 kilometers from Gulu when all of the sudden our van lurched forward and with a loud thud. I looked up just in time to see a cow flying through the air and landing off to the side of the road. Screeching to a halt in one surreal moment the inescapable fact that we had just hit a cow set in quickly. Villagers began to gather around immediately and our driver disappeared right after the crash. The conductor, who rode along to assist the driver, explained that he had left to find the police. Since we were not very close to a town, it was impossible to know how long it would take him to get back. The owner of the free roaming cow also disappeared to avoid liability for the vehicle. Naively unconcerned I watched the villagers gathering with interest. Some of them seemed to expressed their opinions loudly while others shut them down. A few drunken men approached our vehicle and told us that we should get going and leave our stuff behind because it would be safe with them. I guess they were hoping that maybe we were born yesterday. They became more animated with time and for a few moments fists began to fly.

IMG_0189About the time that we were really beginning to wonder what we should do, a pickup truck with "World Vision" written on the side pulled over to check on us. The two men were on their way from Kampala to Gulu and immediately offered us a ride. Relieved, we loaded our luggage onto the back of the truck and six of us climbed up on top of our bags. The rest squeezed into the truck and we drove off for Gulu. Along the way a van from Gulu came to give us an "indoor" ride. Conversing with my new Kenyan friend named Edward, he informed me that where we had stopped was quite dangerous and that sometimes villagers attack a vehicle in our situation to steal from the travelers. Then the gravity of our situation began to sink in and I was relieved that everything worked out so well.

Traveling from one place to another in Africa is always interesting. I generally say that once you get to where you are going here, it is wonderful, but getting there can be another story. That said, the roads really have improved in Uganda immensely over the last few years since last time I was in the area. Now if only the cows wouldn't dart out into the middle of the road at inopportune times…

IMG_0185 (2)