Monday started off as any normal Monday does here at MKMC. We went for prayers, did rounds on our patients in the wards and then went to work in different areas of the clinic. This particular day I was working in the lab, helping test for various conditions such as TB, Malaria, Sickle Cell and Typhoid Fever. Earlier that day, my colleagues and I had decided that we needed to head to the market to pick up some food for the week and stop by the dress shop to pick up our skirts and make some modifications to what we had ordered the week before.
Around 5:30 pm we headed out on our walk to the market. If you take the back way of dirt paths, it normally takes around 20 minutes. As we headed out we noticed some large thunderclouds but figured it would pass or it would only rain for a few minutes since that’s what it normally does here. But oh boy, were we wrong! As soon as we got to the dress stop the thunder started rolling in. Then all of a sudden it started down pouring! Thinking it would end soon we continued to talk to Ester, the dressmaker, about what we had ordered. However, the storm only continued to intensify and before long it was right on top of us. All of a sudden, not even 10 feet away from Ester's little shop, a metal pole was struck by lightning! We all almost jumped out of our skin and quickly ran into Ester’s little shop. Her shop is only about a 5 ft x 7 ft area so trying to cram nine people in there, forces you to get cozy with strangers real fast. All huddled up in the shop, we sat together in the dark concrete room while flashes of lightening lit up the sky and loud claps of thunder shook the building.
While the experience was terrifying, huddling together in the shop did give us a chance to actually get to know Ester. We talked about different Ugandan fashion styles, how she became a designer, where she grew up and when she learned how to make clothing. We also got to experience how sweet she was and the immense kindness of the Ugandan people. They didn’t have to let us in their shop, basically taking it over and stopping them from continuing to work, they didn’t have to let us stay over 2 hours while we waited for a ride back home, and they didn’t have to set up benches for us and try to get to know us, but they did. It spoke volumes to how great the Ugandan people are. I always love unexpected experiences like these because I find that usually something great comes when you least expect it.