Thursday, February 23, 2006

The votes are being counted......


The white noise coming out of the radio almost drowns the announcer’s voice, but it is still possible to hear names and counts as they are called in from constituencies around the country. The opposition candidate, Kizza Besigye, is in the lead (2200 hrs local time), and by a reasonable margin. Who knows what will happen tomorrow. Ugandan elections are….well… let’s just say that they have a history of not being entirely free and fair. The waiter at the hotel where we dined ce soir said we should pray for peace. I said we should pray for a hot buffet, seeing as how I had just had to endure a meal where the cutlery was warmer than the food. Ravel and his ‘friend’ didn’t seem to mind. He seems to have somehow recovered from the stomach ailment that was sending him into a delirious state, and spent most of the evening gazing at the girl. Oddly, she kept her eyes firmly on her food, and I wondered whether or not they had endured a tiff of some kind during her visit earlier in the day. They are now sitting in the garden, not saying much. I fear this may have been a fleeting romance, beset with problems from the start, not least of which was the language barrier. He hails from Bulgaria, she from Spain. Neither of them speak much English.

Vote counting, Ugandan style.



At least we are now all fully refreshed after stealing into the swimming pool showers at the local upmarket hotel after hours. An announcement on the radio is asking for people to be sparing with the water, as if there were any water to spare. Presumably the hotel has its own water tank, else they must be stealing it from everyone else. Mine host treated us all to the meal, so mustn’t grumble, but next time I think I’ll choose the location.

Off to Kenya tomorrow for a weekend of hard earned rest and relaxation in a beach-side house overlooking the Indian Ocean near Mombasa. Well, that’s the plan. If the opposition do indeed win then I might need all my negotiating skills (not to mention a few bags of large denomination notes) to get us both a seat on any plane exiting the country. We might need to draw straws as to who stays behind. If Ravel can patch things up with his friend, he might not mind too much. Anyways, watch this space….

J McC



5 comments:

Gorilla Bananas said...

I don't know why you went there during an election, but given that you did you might as well have done some political reporting. Many would be interested in knowing which way the late Idi Amin's relatives voted.

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

Pure coincidence that I am here during the election period. Haven't had as much contact with the world outside the institute as I would have liked, due to pressure of work. Latest word on the election (0900 local time) is that the race is now too close to call. Candidates need 51% to win outright, otherwise there will be a re-run of the election in the next few days. Bizarrely, vote counting stopped during the night whilst the orderlies went to bed. They are just getting up to resume counting....

hermione2001ie said...

So, are you just leaving Ravel in Uganda then? Or is he bringing his 'friend' with him? Despite what you say, I'm still a bit concerned about him.

Anonymous said...

Did you have any time for Rhino hunting on this trip? My friend says you need at least a .270 to drop one in its tracks, which seems to me like 'overkill'. Can you shed any light on this debate?

Sol Kashberg said...

The .405 Winchester round is what you need if you're after Rhino. Anything less is cruelty. Anything more just a reflection of your damned cowardice!