A few weeks ago, it was Sunday morning and I was still not feeling very well. I was not sick enough to stay in bed; and not sure if I wanted to get out of bed…. I was very tired with a lingering cough from a cold. As I was laying in my bed, I noticed that my daniadown quilt I brought from Canada has a few small holes and a large number of goose feathers had escaped. My little mosquito net tented bed was nicely decorated with small white feathers….. and I wonder if the reason I was not getting better was that I was breathing in some microscopic fibers from the feathers……

So, I made a plan to change the sheets, and air out the bed; repair the small holes then hang the daniadown quilt on the line outback and let the hot sunshine give it new life. As I was putting the quilt on the line, I noticed that the cleaning ladies had done a large load of washing and left the linens on the line. I decided to be kind and take the linens of the line when I took in my quilt…..

With some found energy, I made myself a good lunch of roasted chicken with rosemary and lemons, potatoes, carrots and tomatoes…. this is a real treat for me because it takes too much time and more often than not the various items are not available. Lunch was delicious……and as I was enjoying my meal, I was answering emails.

Suddenly and to my great surprise… I heard thunder and lightning and the gentle falling of rain on my tin roof…I ran out to collect the linens. I quickly decided since it appeared to be a gentle rain that I would leave my quilt on the line and it could be lightly rinsed. I got all the linens in when the rains came pouring down…..

For the next 2 hours, I watched from my open front door the thunder and lightning flashing across the sky; rain driving horizontal with such thickness the hedge in front of my house feet away became invisible…. it was truly a show of nature’s power……. and as the storm continued to rage, I watched the water level at my front door slowly raising with great possibility of my kitchen and living room also being flooded… I already had a light covering of water in my bathroom and bedroom….. and in all this I wondered about my quilt.

The storm ended, the rains stopped …..with the water level less than a half inch away from crossing the sill into my house. I waited and watched the water quickly disappearing wondering if my quilt had survived the storm and what was I going to find. I walked to the back of my house to find my quilt on the ground. I went to put it back on the line but did not see the large army of “red” ants or biting ants which had survived the storm under my quilt…. Within seconds they were climbing up my legs, on my arms and moving quickly over my body…

I ran as fast as possible over the wet soggy ground into my house were I stripped out of my floor length caftan…. I watched hundred of ants ran in all directions while I was pulling them off my neck and face and out of my hair and….. oops, they were also in my panties and bra.

I cautiously slogged through the 1/2 inch of water into my bathroom and quickly removed my underwear; turned on the tap to wash any remaining ants away………………but I had NO… NO…. NO water…

The only way I have water is to collect the rain water off my roof into a very large reservoir; then when the generator is on pump water up to a 50 gallon drum on the roof… this gives me running water.

With no running water and in desperation, I used the water off the floor to dislodge, wash away any of the remaining ants….

Now, all I could think about was having a hot shower… I felt dirty..

As I was thinking about the hot shower, I realized that for some reason the generator was on. I could pump water!!!!!!!!!! The switch for pumping is in the adjoining guest house. Very carefully, I stepped around the thick red mud and opened the door…. I may have taken 5 or 6 steps when I slipped and fell hitting my head and back on the tile floor. I slide crashing into the bathroom door with my right foot. As I lay on my back looking up at the ceiling, I realized that my screams would not be heard since school was out, and my next-door-neighbours were in Kampala for the weekend… So, I prayed and prayed. I was not willing to lay of this floor and have someone find me… It was not going to happen!!!!!……. Slowly, I tried to get up and on the third attempt I was successful.

With great care, I walked across the floor and flipped the water switch…. It normally takes 30 to 45 minutes to pump the 50 gallon drum full of water and i know it is full when the water starts to pour out of the pipe at the top of the barrel. I guess I was not counting the minutes because the next thing I know the water is streaming down on top of me… It was only a few seconds before I was out of the way moving cautiously to turn of the water.

A few minutes later, I was back in my house enjoying a hot shower. Normally, I am very careful not to use large amounts of water because I do not want to run out during the dry season BUT that Sunday, I did not care; I just wanted to be clean and warm. As I was enjoying the hot shower, I realized that my back, and toes did not hurt. I was absolutely sure that I had at least two broken toes…..but when I looked down I saw healthy pink toes with no swelling or bruising. The only thing I had was a slight headache.

Then I heard knocking at my door…… and a lovely voice calling out “Margo, are you home?”

Patricia, a teacher who has been talking to me about learning how to bake cakes in an oven had arrived. She was hoping that I had time to teach her how to bake a cake. She saw the mess my house was in due to the water on the floor and hundreds of ants scurrying about and she helped me clean up. After a refreshing cup of hot tea, we baked.

Later that night, I realized, I was not alone…. Father God was watching over me and keeping me safe…… Patricia stayed until dark, about 7 pm baking a cake, then banana muffins and finally caramel icing.

After Patricia left, I had two more visitors each coming to check and see how I had survived the storm…..

PS…. the quilt, my back, toes and head all have survived the comedy of errors….

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