Thursday, March 25, 2010

Adios, Neighbor

One of the first truisms I learnt in high school hinted at change being a fact of life. I guess everyone would really wish a change for the better. It’s a fact that I came to appreciate when my change of profile from student dictated that I had to start living in the environs of working class mortals. The kind of environment that makes you forget that words like coursework and others of the ilk were once part of your regular vocabulary.

Until a few weeks ago, my place of abode was some kind of mixed environment that exposed me to both sides of student life; One that really made me appreciate both the plight and joy of being a student. A huge majority of my neighbors were students. And girls at that. I guess you now know where I am headed.  

Staying in this environment had meant that that we gradually formed a bond with our neighbors, in a manner very much akin to an African traditional family setting. We shared the same compound for a lavatory and had one common source of water. A hastily constructed communal tap for the low income (no income, actually) folks that we were. So there was no way a resident could afford to go missing-literally. We were always in each other’s faces, literally.  

My high school background was that of a single school, so one would imagine the hurdles I went through, scouring for the much desired confidence to acquaint myself with the fairer sex. Somehow, I managed to get my way around, and even had the privilege to earn a few favors. Like removing my clothes from the lines whenever it threatened to rain while I was away. 

My introversion appeared to have run its course, until I met this new neighbor, a sister to an old pal. And neighbor for two years. The catchup process was gradual-as usual. By the time we finally got along, I was in the final stages of shifting to my new residence, some good distance from my old place. 

She was on hand to help with the final packing and loading the last of my belongings onto the truck I had hired for the day. As we set about moving, she waved to see me off, wearing such a warm smile that made me wish I had stayed a little longer. I may have opted to change address in search of improved neighborhood, but part of my heart appeared to have stayed back.
- Dan B. Atuhaire

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