Sunday, April 26, 2015


During my primary school days at Kitante, we had determined that the sharpest kids in school all wore reading glasses. Some kids in my class had attempted many tricks to prove their vision was failing but I think when it came to the worst ruse, the cake went to Rebecca. One day during a class break, Rebecca declared that she was blind. If she was seeking attention, her ruse certainly worked because we all crowded around her desk to scrutinize her eyes. Now I always told the tallest tales in class but Rebecca's ruse made my stories of poor vision pale into insignificance. Her eyes were wide open, unfocussed and looking quite blind. She had about 15 pairs of curious eyes staring at her and she managed to hold our attention and trust for a while. Just as we were starting to get seriously concerned that Rebecca had gone totally blind, she ruined the moment by saying: "I can only see Rose and Rita!" Yeah, right! Rebecca was blind but she could only see her best friends. The bell rang and I returned to my desk happy in the knowledge that Rebecca was busted.
Much the same way that I was regularly busted by Dr. Gwasaze the ophthalmologist, who took care of my vision for many years at Mulago hospital. From 1972 to 1976 my Mom and I were regular visitors at his clinic due to my insistence that my eye sight was failing. Each time he stood me a measured distance from his Snellen chart and I proceeded to make a nuisance of myself. I tried everything from reading 'E' as 'F' and calling an 'S' a 'Z' but he was not fooled. Not once. Dr. Gwasaze did not even console me with eye drops but sent me home with nothing. I still wonder whether my Mom believed my regular vision complaints or whether she was part of a conspiracy with Dr. Gwasaze to crush my hopes of ever wearing reading glasses.

At 50 I know that Dr. Gwasaze did me a huge favor and is probably the reason why I am still able to read the farthest sign post on the road when am looking for directions - without reading glasses.

— feeling thankful.

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