Monday, July 12, 2010

I'll Never Forget Today

Tonight, I'm sitting in my living room, drinking wine with my roommate Peace, and watching bad American sitcoms on DVD. It sounds like any other Monday night. Except that it wasn't.

Today was quite possibly the worst day of my life. After a sleepless night contemplating all that happened in Kampala last night, I arrived at Mulago National Hospital to see hundreds of people gathering outside. They were waiting to hear of news about loved ones. Some were crying, others were staring into the distance with hollow eyes, and still others chatted absentmindedly.

Going inside to offer my assistance to the Red Cross, I saw victims of the attacks on rolling hospital beds. Some were bloody and bandaged. Others were missing limbs. It truly looked like the aftermath of war.

It was impossible to work. I kept thinking about how close I was to meeting Peace at the Rugby Club. Had I not gotten a text message from a friend, I would have been at the bar where the second, more powerful bomb exploded. I also thought about her, what she saw, and what she felt. She tells me she's ok, but it's hard to know.

Rumors have flown around Kampala about what did happen, what could have happened, and what is going to happen. I heard that a bomber was on his way to the bar that I was at. I heard that two bombs were defused today in Kampala, sparing more lives. I heard that more attacks are on the way. I don't know what to believe.

It's unclear what my future plans are. On Monday, July 19, the day that I am supposed to leave, a meeting of African Union leaders will begin in Kampala. It may be prudent to leave before then.

Thank you everyone for your kind words and support. Today was a horrible experience for me, but my day pales in comparison to the hundreds that lost a friend or family member last night. I know lots of those people, and their ordeal is just beginning.

I need to get some sleep. Will post more tomorrow.

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