……….I had not slept well…. due to the heat and so gave up and got up….. but there was an anxiety in my spirit and I had no idea why. I was working through my morning routine when there was a knock at my door…. I was still in my nightie when I answered the door. It was Eileen… who told me “Madame was in pain”. This took me a few second to realize that Madame was… Madame Samalie and the pain was … she was in labour with her fourth child. Since this was only a guess… I ran after Eileen now the narrow sidewalk to Samalie’s house. Samalie was coming out of her house muttering something…. “but they told me I was only 31 weeks… that was two weeks ago so…. I should be 33 weeks. Will the baby be O.K.?” All this was on the move from the house to my land cruiser. Behind us came Eileen with two large bags of baby stuff….. I started the land cruiser and headed off for which hospital… only to be told that we were going to downtown Kibaale. Yes, a mile or so down the road. I was directed to a small clinic where there was a midwife. Samalie and Eileen got out and headed down a narrow path between the buildings……. It was just before 8 am…. A few minutes later, Eileen came up to me and stated that Samalie had a baby girl and all was well. A minute or two later, I was introduced to this 3 kg baby girl (about 6.7 pounds). She was wrong with her dates and the little one was due. It was just yesterday when she had told me she was due early June. The baby had other ideas….Since all went well…. at 9:30 am I transported baby and mother home… to the total amazement of all.

I had missed breakfast and now tea break…. It was now just after 10 am and I was starting my day at the clinic. My Pastor was arriving the next day and I wanted to spend time with him… and to do so meant that I needed to ensure the pharmacy was well stocked with everything the staff might need for the next day. When I finished checking the supplies… I had missed lunch. I was hungry and tired but I still had so much to get done. I sent someone downtown to buy chapattis and a pop (soda). Not very healthy but at least something to eat and drink…. I am suppose to drive the land cruiser for the vaccination clinic due that afternoon but I do not have any time or energy left…. so hunted up Moses who can do the driving and gave him the keys….. it is now 4 pm and all I want to do is go to bed.

BUT….. I am told there was a site wide birthday party for the staff and I was expected to attend…. it was in the dinning hall right across the soccer field from my house. So, I decided that I could go for a few minutes. Unfortunately, I was seated at the front of the room beside the other Kibaale Community Centre leaders and that prevented me from escaping early…… it was a celebration for all the staff who had a birthday in Jan, Feb, March and April…. each person was introduced and a short story was told about each….. then Pastor Eric spoke about the importance of good communications….it was a 7 point discussion. It was very good but I was tired and hungry. Happy Birthday was sung and two large cakes were cut…. well, torn into pieces is a better description. Small pieces of cake were served on small plastic plates….Sodas were handed out and then small bags of food….the bags did not look interesting to me and I was sure they probably did not have enough for everyone and I was right. The small plastic bag was filled with a chapatti, a hard boiled egg, two small pieces of beef and a roasted potato. Everyone around me were very pleased with the quality of the food….. I just wanted to go home and eat some “Canadian food”. I probably would have enjoyed the food if I had eaten that day and was not so tired ……

After all the introductions and speeches…. those who had birthdays got up and were expected to dance to a piece of music…. It was amusing to see some of the teachers lack of rhythm. I expected that all Africans had great rhythm…. I could not help but smile….

It was now 7:30 and I was making supper for myself….. It had been a cold day and I had put on my black rain jacket because of the dark black storm clouds moving swiftly across the sky and the cold wind which was blowing …… I still had my jacket on as I made my food…. spaghetti with meat sauce. I put the dished into the sink and decided that I would wash them in the morning and headed into my bedroom to pull down my mosquito net around my bed…. when I saw a long narrow black strap from my jacket wrapped around the leg of my bed on the floor… I was just about to pick it up when for some reason I stopped and stepped back…. it was a snake a 6 to 8 inch black mamba. A poisonous snake.

It was 8:30 pm and now what was a going to do…. who was going to kill the snake because I know that I was not going to get near the snake…. I AM DEADLY FRIGHTENED OF SNAKES….. I had always thought that I would head for home … Canada… I would catch the first plane out…. but I was stopped in my tracts. I could not move…. I watched as the snake moved from the foot of my bed to beside the cupboard….. what was I going to do? WHO was going to kill this snake.

Finally…… I realized I had no choice but to leave my house and run down to Madame Samalie’s house and ask for help….. but she had just had a baby… how could I ask her for help. I could not think of any other options…. I ran as fast as my feet…. yes, bare feet could carry me down the narrow side walk in the dark. I knocked on the door and explained my problem…. her nephew came to my rescue. He came wearing flip flops and carrying a big stick…… of course the snake was no longer visible….. he searched my bedroom floor and finally discovered it under my suitcase. With one quick blow, the snake was dead….. and I was still alive. As he left, he took the dead snake with him…..but now I was left alone in my house. I was frozen. My mind spinning … if there was one snake could there be two or three or four…. this was a small snake…. so where was the mother or father. How did the snake get in…. I keep my doors closed. I stood in the middle of my living room watching and waiting…. time moved slowly ….. where was I going to sleep. I finally phoned Mark in Masaka and told him my situation…. we talked and I felt revealed to have spoken to someone….. then Ken phoned and told me to get out of my house. He did not understand that the snake was dead…. and my housekeeper does a great job of keeping my house clean….so why should I move to another accommodation….

It took some time and finally………. my anger started to slowly building up inside me ….. I was not willing to go home, back to Canada. I was here in Kibaale to do some work and the work was not done….. I was not leaving and no snake was going to scare me into leaving…. I prayed and prayed and then read the following verse over and over and over again…until I had perfect peace. It was very late when I went to bed…. I slept on the couch and had no bad dreams. In fact, I had a wonderful 6 hours of sleep.

Luke 10:19
…………I have given you authority to trample on snakes, and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

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