Tuesday, August 11, 2015

My headlights are on?

I'm back from Karamoja so have a few posts milling around but they aren't ready yet so I have a humorous anecdote for you in the meantime.
Monday morning I left the village around 6:30. It was really foggy so I had the headlights on. I left Lormoruchbae with 13 people and all their luggage and made my first stop in Lorangachora to unload some of them around 7am. Someone came up to me while unloading and pointed out to me my headlights were on. Here, everyone is concerned with conserving energy because they have so little of it and they understand how miserable it can be when it runs out. And so few people drive they don't understand that headlights are actually not like flashlights and that I don't actually have to worry about running out of battery as long as the truck is running. The belief that your headlights will drain you battery is so prevalent that some drivers won't even turn their headlights on until it is fully dark so you need to be more cautious around dawn and dusk. Anyway, this guy told me my headlights were on. I thanked him and forgot about it. I headed to Matany to drop off some people there. Between Lorangochora and Matany I hit a chicken. I tried to swerve but the fog was still very heavy and the chicken was stupid and I saw a puff of feathers in my rear-view mirror. I wish this wasn't a common problem on the highways of Uganda but it is and I was just happy it wasn't a goat or a cow. Anyway, got to Matany and while unloading was told again that my headlights were on. It was only 8:30 am and the fog was still heavy so I just nodded and told him I knew. I made my last stop in Kangole around 9am and dropped the last few people in my vehicle off in the town center and was actually told one more time that my headlights were on. I just turned them off to get people to leave me alone. I drove over to the CLIDE office and while there I discovered that the chicken I had hit was still embedded in the grill of my truck. Only here will several people point out to you that your headlights are on and fail to mention that you have a dead animal right between them.

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