Thursday, April 17, 2008

I wish I could…

uh, so many things. Wish I could write, better than I do. Or sing better than bathroom stuff. Or make money like Midas. Maybe the world would be a much better place than it is, because I could. Or, more than likely, it just would not. It would be its ever dull self, in need of further improvement.

Yesterday, I broke my silence in a shout. I was in pain. The Buddo tragedy really touched me. Reminded me of the time that I was in school, and I was not that happy. It came pouring out, the anger, and bitterness. It’s a matter of fact that I have been avoiding the papers. A lot of us do know what happened at that school, and we cannot but think that, but for the grace of god, it would have been me. Or my son or daughter, or cousin.

Fact is, life is a game of Russian roulette. And sometimes the choices that we are forced to make are not the best. And we pay the price. Dearly.

Most, if not all, our boarding schools are fire traps. That is a matter of fact.

The parents, many do not know. Or don’t understand. They do not realize that there are minimum standards to a building, and that the schools do not follow them. A struggle to survive, the administrators, the schools, the teachers. Needing the money and desperately seeking it. School fees are unbelievably high. They do take up most of the family budgets, and a boarding school seems like a good solution to harassed working parents. The parents are relieved, when the child goes to a ‘good’ school. Accepting academic standards above other standards. The schools try to spend as little money on the children as they can. The infrastructure is poor. Government schools have been flooded with the ‘Universal Primary Education’ kids, and the standards have nosedived. And the oversight is non existent.

I cannot claim to be a typical gay Ugandan. A typical gay Ugandan does not have a blog! A typical Ugandan is most likely illiterate, even in his mother tongue. And most do not have access to computers, or internet for that matter.

More likely, we (as in the bloggers!) are the elite. Duh!

I have gone through a school straight out of Dicken’s Oliver Twist orphanage. So have many people, most of the ‘elite’ Ugandans. But seems like that time was so long ago, and the struggle to earn a living, build a house, raise a family, are so overwhelming that we have forgotten what we passed through. Or find it hard to effect any meaningful changes.

The politicians are looking around for the usual scapegoats. The headmaster. Poor guy, charged with murder! Ridiculous. Even in Uganda, that should carry at least the intent. So, instead of focusing on the real reasons, they are looking for scapegoats, and headlines, and someone to blame. Stupid, but then, that seems to be an abiding condition of the human race.

I wished to write on poetry. But I was diverted. I am still angry and disappointed and unhappy. And still guiltily remembering the days that I used to take my brother to school, and look at the dormitory and wonder, wow, what if a fire broke out there. Yes, the anger is mixed with personal guilt. I swore off taking any child of mine to any of our boarding schools. But when I had to send my brother to secondary, I had to choose a boarding school. Guess I am still guilt ridden…

Oh, wish I could, … so many things!


1 comment:

Princess said...

I tried to write yesterday, too.
But my ink was all dried up.
Guilt, an overwhelming sadness, was enveloping me.
And then a friend's brother died last night.
*Very sombre is me.

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