Clouds float in the sky, kind of like the cartoon clouds on the TV show, The Simpson’s.
Linens and fresh flower filled vases adorned our dinner table. It was a special night. Jude Engole, Ben Kedi, and Emmanuel,our friend from a bus ride to Kampala, joined us for a night on the town.
They were all smiles as they feasted on a buffet of local cuisine. After all the plates were cleared, I launched into a lecture about safe sex, decision making, condoms, and HIV prevention. Surprisingly, their eyes didn’t roll. Ben and Jude assured us that their TASO counselor, Robert Oluka, talks to them about HIV prevention all the time. I admit, it may not have been the best timing for such a discussion, but I wanted to start the dialogue. Colin rescued them from my “let’s talk about sex” lecture and challenged them to a game of pool.
Jude and Emma watch carefully as Colin teachs them about the mathematics of pool.
What an amazing man…
They love Colin. Watching the four of them play pool, laughing and shouting, hugging and giving high-fives – unforgettable. Colin and Emma played against Jude and Ben. A couple weeks ago, Colin taught Emma and Jude how to play. Ben is a seasoned pool player. They played best of five; Jude and Ben won. But really, everyone won.
Colin was able to bridge language and culture barriers with a simple game of pool. Ben, Jude, and Emma look up to Colin. They trust him. They can confide in him. And he makes them laugh. When Jude would line up his cue for a shot, Colin would start doing his interpretation of a traditional Bugisu dance. Jude laughed uncontrollably. I, on the other hand, am the boring teacher figure that wants to talk about feelings, condoms, and bad grades. It’s so cool to have Colin balance it out. His gentle tone, patience, and incredible sense of humor make him a friend to anyone and everyone he meets. Jude thinks of Colin as a father; they all know him as a friend.
June 10th, 2007