Saturday, March 11, 2006

Passing the Buck

Dude, one of our drivers, Mr. Lule, survived death in that church that collapsed last Wednesday in lower Nsooba zone, Lufula in Kalerwe, one of our innumerable suburbs. The Church, the City of the Lord Church, collapsed during a thunderstorm. There were like 1000 people in the church, 26 died immediately and 100 or so were injured and admitted to hospitals, mostly Mulago. U might want to look up the details here;

the pastor of the church has gone into hiding, mbu he's in shock and recuperating, the engineers in charge of the construction are also being cagey about their whereabouts, all the while telling the press how they were being pressurised to finish the construction in time for a major conference in April...wait, that’s next month! One engineer is even quoted as saying that maybe it was their time to go, the people who died. And from the pictures of the rubble I saw in yesterday's papers, the church walls were like so thin - is that the correct way to put it? Well anyway, they looked like they could use another layer or two of bricks.

When Mr. Lule didn’t show up for work on Thursday and his phone stayed off all day Thursday and Friday, we naturally assumed the worst. So I call one of the other drivers Friday evening and he promised to check with Mr. Lula’s neighbour, another driver - oba they live in a commune? - And bright and early today, Mr. Lule showed up with graphic tales of people dying in the rain; rain so heavy they could barely see past their noses.

Kati Mr. Lule hadn’t wanted to go; it isn’t his church, but they had a conference, revival meeting, something like that going on and his wife insisted on being there. So, being the world class nice guy that he is, he obliged and escorted her. Like that world, "escorted". Now there they were in the church during the rainstorm when Mr. Lule noticed that one of the walls was doing a Tower of Pisa lean-to. he was on the right side (the side it didn’t fall towards) of the said wall, so to speak, for before he even had time to warn a bunch of people sitting next to the wall, it came down on them with a God almighty crash. Of course they all died immediately. his wife only survived death because she chose the moment that the wall was coming down to make her way up toward him - she was on a lower level or something - so while the wall was coming down, she was going round it to get up to the higher ground. She got some cuts and bruises though from the bricks on the wall's periphery flying off in all directions, much like "stray" bullets.

So now, I’m grateful to God that Mr. Lule didn’t come to any harm and I’m comforted in the knowledge that the people who perished are floating on clouds, sipping on nectar and mead, trying out their new wings, strumming their harps and generally lounging up in heaven. We should all be so lucky.


Blogger Carlo said...

"if heaven was a mile away,
would i pack up my bags and leave it all behind?
or save it all for you?"

rather, "or go to church and get buried in the building"
God bless the Ugandan Christian community!

Wed Mar 15, 03:15:00 pm  
Blogger Iwaya said...

the first funny thing i have seen written about that collapsing church. thanks!!

Mon Mar 20, 07:21:00 pm  

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