I hope it’s beautiful. I hope that it gives you chills in your spine and provides new breath in your lungs. I hope you get knocked down–hard. But I hope you have the courage to get right back up and keep moving on. I hope you find a new perspective looking at life through the under glass of a broken bottle, at least for the duration of the coronavirus crisis. I hope my story touches your life in tender ways, because I know you’ll touch everyone else’s.
I remember being younger, may be Eighteen and spinning my globe around with my fingertips touching the equator. I remember thinking that I wanted to see my country Uganda, eat burgers in America, shop in China and dance in Europe. I remember how I started out as a trainee at the then Nile Hotel, and the Uganda International Conference Centre (Nile Mansions, for the older ones). How time flies. At my first gig as a trainee, and on one of the lucky times, I remember being asked to take 12 one 1 liter mineral water bottles to the suite where two top officials of East Africa were about to hold a meeting. The President of Kenya- His Excellency Daniel Arap Moi (RIP) was on a state visit to his counterpart HE, President Museveni. Here I was with a tray in my hand and standing at the executive lift when it opened, and there…. Two presidents that I had never dreamt to meet face to face. Anxiety and shock hit in. But with courtesy, I was invited to take a ride with my heroes…the two presidents. Not knowing what to do, the lift doors started to close, but I wasn’t going to take any of that. So, I made a dash and as it is with trays, I lost balance and one lot of the water was in the lift on the floor and of course burst, while the other were spilling the floor outside. I don’t remember what the Presidents faces looked like… I could not even look up to them. I just saw wet suits and shoes and for a moment was left for dead. I was resurrected by a small part by M7 who said “Young man, the lift was too fast. You must soldier on and become the best. Go get us some more water”. And President Moi added, “I like your courage. Soldier on”. I got to the service floor and there was dead silence. I would be fired. But a phone call had come through with the instruction, “Please give the young man another tray of water and let him be the one to serve us”. That is how I was on a second chance, which I executed very well. And so, my Tourism journey started.