It was me  It wasn’t me!

Me rocking the Kanzu as we prepared to set off from the hotel.

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The weather chose to be kind to us, drizzled just a little to signal God was acknowledging the remarkable romance that inspired the journey these two were starting yet the sun shone with such grace- just bright enough to donate vitamin D yet subtle not to create need for umbrellas. We could not have gotten a better MC. His ability to effortlessly marry the depth of culture with millennial fanaticism and just the right doze of raw humor which for some reason would appeal to both the villagers and the Kampala elites was slightly short of divine. I am sincerely hoping no one noticed how I was unconsciously smiling all through the function, as my neighbor and Friend Percy was being traditionally introduced by Monica. Being the designated driver for the soon-to-be wed couple, I was of course expected to be the sober one on the team yet I would urge that I had my fair share of unplanned fun. Masaka being about 2 hours’ drive from Kampala required we set off by 7 am. My loyal alarm clock which I set for 5; 45 am, went off (I am still struggling to understand why the inventors of the mighty English refer to it as going off when it is literally going on- that will be for another day) and as usual I did not value it’s loyalty until 6; 15 am after I pictured myself really late for the function and a million other worst case scenarios, basically my normal wake up motivation drill after ignoring my alarm which I religiously set. Fast forward the introduction was arguably flawless and it took me on an emotional roller coaster. I could almost see these lingering thoughts in my head in 3D. They were so real, I’d swear I could touch them! On my last 3 trips to the village, after supplying my nephews with infinite big boom sweets & assorted Cadbury chocolates (yes, I am aware that I will also have to foot their dentist bills in about 10 years because of my misguided generosity), my mom has consistently yet in different contexts asked if I have ever thought of marrying let alone having kids! She had even bothered to share some research she apparently accidentally stumbled on, highlighting the shortcomings of starting a family after 40 years. I quickly reminded her, I am not even 30! She said “I am just sharing general information” Mum, I am pretty sure that information was quite specific for me. Of course I will want to get married sometime- manufacture just enough kids to drive my wife and I crazy, half of our married life- the kind of crazy you look forward to from work. The kind of crazy that breaks smart phone screens and slit couches open but you still want to hold your kid so close until you feel their heart beat in sync with yours. Of course, I also want to go for honeymoons every 4 years with my wife to the Maldives and be young again, ride the Arab camels in the scorching desert heat of Egypt just next to the mighty pyramids, climb the Chinese great wall or walk on its adrenaline- rush -prompting Glass Bridge . Of course I would love to live my craziest romantic fantasies except for one thing, mom- the right TIMIMG. Even when I agree with Robert Kiyosaki- (New York best selling author of Rich Dad Poor Dad series) ‘If you are the kind of person who is waiting for the right thing to happen, you might wait for a long time. It is like waiting for all the traffic lights to be green for five miles before starting the trip’, I also believe Percy had to wait for a Monica. A few experiences can come close to the beauty reflected in our cultural diversity. At 5:30am the day following the introduction, we drove to Monica’s home to perform our last ritual –Kaasuze katya. I was in the car with a very married interesting couple- Mr. Gordon & Claire- who of course preached to me about marriage as I rolled my eyes. We were required to visit Monica’s home officially to take her before its dawn. The events that traditionally precede this are only but very dramatic, especially the part where the bride’s nieces literally cry and block us from leaving the house with the bride on basis that they cannot afford to miss her mouthwatering meals and council. We literally had to both fight back and bribe the nieces out of the way with a couple of ten thousand notes! It felt very exhilarating perhaps because it was a new experience all together for me and also the dramatic spectacle was an awe to behold. I have lost several bets both to myself and my former girlfriend every time I bet that I will watch a movie till the end or that I will wake up at 5 am to read or something all due to my amazing relationship with sleep. I am not exactly too proud of my annoyingly sweet relationship but I guess nature knows best. On sleeps’ account, I missed out on the kasiki (after party). This, I really did not see coming, no sooner had I checked into my hotel room to change and charge my phone for 3 and a half minutes than I already blacked out! On the bright side, we got the bride who is officially my new neighbor and that means only one thing to me- I won’t have to drive to town for lunch on the weekend! I would like to think she owes me! Plus, my hotel room was really cozy and I guess that is why I blacked out. Besides the mattress being extra spongy and the sheets extra silky, the view from the balcony was breathtaking. I remember when I woke up from my black out at 3 am, I slid the large front door open and a gentle wind blew through my face, it was magically both warm and chilly and I remember inhaling a deep breath only if I could take this magic wind with me back to Kampala. Speaking of Kampala, I was missing out on the insane vibe and energy from my Rotaract club of Kampala Ssese Islands and Kampala South at the joint hospitality. Rotary family has successfully uniquely distinguished itself starting with Grammar; house parties are called hospitalities, their club leaders are called presidents, when the president assumes office it is called Installation, and when you become a new member then you have been inducted! I had to play catch up with this new vocabulary when I had just joined for a couple of months! Now looking forward to the wedding…. Tuxedo- Check. After party- Double check. Sleep- Absent (hopefully)

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