How did THAT happen?! (A short story for romantics)

Nyoom: Suzan Abong karacel kede Phil Wilmot

Nyoom: Suzan Abong karacel kede Phil Wilmot

In the summer of 2009 I was an overzealous single man touring the eastern United States, playing bass guitar in a rock band, and going days without eating anything substantial.

A few months later, I was deeply in love, studying theology, and gaining much-needed weight (as Ugandan meals incline a hungry scrawny white boy to do).

I met Suzan in the dining hall of Uganda Christian University.  Then again at Nkoyoyo Hall.  Then again somewhere on campus.  Then again somewhere off campus.  It kept happening, and I liked it.

One day I took Suzan to my interim mother’s (may she rest in peace) garden, which sat atop Monkey Hill, overlooking the powerful Lake Victoria and the rolling hills of central Uganda.  I told her I liked her.  She wasn’t resistant to that.
So after a semester of challenging questions, new friends, and a progressing romance, I returned to my own country.  After being questioned by Dulles airport security for a few hours about my layover in Amsterdam, I walked into the cold December air with no place to stay.  Fortunately, I had some generous friends with available beds and couches.

I got some jobs and started saving up for my next visit.  When I obtained enough money, I ventured back to Suzan, but this time to her village.  I stayed in Atura, Oyam this time, a fifteen-minute walk from the River Nile.  It was a much different world than our university in Mukono (mostly in good ways).  I started learning Lango, Suzan’s language.  I met her family and neighbors.  I witnessed the most partying I’d ever seen when Ghana scored a goal just before halftime in the World Cup match against Uruguay.  Sometimes I brought firewood back from the forest.  Sometimes I relaxed and did nothing.

Again my visa expired, and it was back to Pennsylvania for round two of finding jobs, working my butt off, and saving up for a plane ticket.

But the plane ticket wasn’t my only expense this time.  I had a wedding to pay for.  Three of them, actually.  (They were all mine.)

So I became very poor after several months of long, hard labor.  Festivities in Uganda are not simple.  Nevertheless, I managed to wed with Suzan.  Jumping through the hoops of bureaucracy to make this possible was (still is) not easy.  More on this matter in a later post.

That is the skeleton of the story of how our marriage came to be.  Of course….there is much more to tell….