Monday August 25 2014

LIVING AND LOVING IT > One good turn...or was it?

By Carol Beyanga

I was looking desperately for a plant a colleague had given to me. I am not sure of its name, local or English. All I know is that it is has the most pleasant aroma when you put two leaves in a hot cup of tea.

After envying her every morning, my workmate was kind enough to bring me a seedling. I took it home and asked the maid to plant it with the hope that it would grow well.

Funny enough, I did not look out for it soon after it was planted. I practically forgot. It was only weeks later that I remembered there was this plant I had been keen on.

So Sunday afternoon found me and girls walking in the garden which had grown wild with flowers, greens and other such things. I was looking out for the things the maid should remove and those she should leave.

But I could not see the nice-smelling plant. I was worried that it probably did not grow. The problem also though, was, I could not remember quite what it looked like.

Also, the maid who had helped us plant it had left. So she was not around to come show us where she had planted. If I failed to see it, I would have to call her.

We continued searching with the girls who bent and sniffed at every plant and plucked some leaves and smelled them, copying my every move. Finally, I found it, at the edge of the garden, blossoming.

I was so happy and did a jig, and the girls joined in. After we calmed down, we started to look for an aloe vera plant another workmate had given me for the garden.

As we were doing so, we heard footsteps outside the fence, and turned up to see a man walking on the path. I mumbled a quick greeting and he replied as he walked on.

Seconds later, he came back to the wall and began with what felt like a forged story. He was dressed in a dirty white shirt, had a pair of trousers on and was barefoot. I did not understand his story but it involved his jjaja, the police and the state of affairs he was in.

He needed help. He went on and on and so I listened, waiting for him to finally ask for Shs5,000 or any amount I could give. Instead he surprised me when he asked if I could give him a shirt and trousers.

“You want a shirt and trousers?” I asked again, not sure I had got him right. He nodded. That was a first. Everyone asks for money. They hardly ask for some food or clothes. This was different. I told him to wait while I went to get some. He also asked if I could get him slippers.

I found two T-shirts still in good condition. I failed to find a pair of pants though that hubby could give out.

He had recently given all those away. There were also no slippers to give. So I took the T-shirts feeling bad that I had less than he had asked for. But he was so thankful and called upon God to bless me mightily.

I do not know why but I felt rather satisfied about my good deed of the day. Later on, however, I remember wondering why he wanted a change of clothes because although the ones he was in were dirty, they were not torn or old.

I began to wonder if he was escaping from the police and a change of clothes was part of the plan…

In the end, I decided not to overthink it. A man had asked for help. I had given it. He was grateful. I had found my plant. It had been a good Sunday.

We unfortunately did not find the aloe vera. So we are looking to get another one to plant.