Two – from How To Talk To Crazy People by Donna Kakonge – Dreams

I am making friends but also meeting some other people who I don’t trust.

The house girl, Clara, with her low-cut afro, gives me looks that dart up and down my body as she sweeps the floors. When my cousin Dora, Uncle Eddie and Auntie Zeddie’s eldest daughter, comes into the room, Clara stops her sweeping, pushes the debris in my direction, and gaggles away with Dora in Lunyoro, a language I don’t understand, and then both of them pause dart looks up and down my body.

“What?” I ask them.

“Shoops.” They both kiss their teeth together and keep gaggling away and darting those looks at me.

I stare at them, then away, flicking my eyes to and from them like ashes falling from a lit cigarette. I feel the same burning inside as with a cigarette…something   is brewing.

I’m not sure why some people gossip so much when they could be doing much better things.

I need to send a message to McGill University in Montréal to learn if I can combine English with communications for my master’s degree. If I can, I would be very happy and would work on having my master’s completed as soon as possible. I’m excited because I really think these subjects would make for very interesting research.

Later, I could also earn my PhPh.D.t McGill, although I would prefer to attend Cornell, Princeton or even Yale.

I must hang in there with my dreams. I really think there is much I can accomplish. I want to attend McGill University for communications and English, to receive a scholarship, to have my short stories published, to leave Uganda with a draft of my first novel and with video footage for my documentary, to have some stories published while I’m here, to leave knowing the regions of Bunyoro and Buganda, and to have my hair grow almost twice as long as it is now.

I want to see a few more African countries than just Uganda. I contacted a journalist from CNN who works in Africa to see if I could work in Egypt. But Uncle Eddie  won’t  let  me.  He just does not understand that his refusal is ruining my journalism career. He claims it’s dangerous for women to be on their own in Egypt. I stopped speaking to Uncle Eddie because of this. How does Uncle Eddie not realize that I could be the next Christiane Amanpour for the African continent if I got this job?

Uncle Eddie just wants me to stay in Uganda and to make money at Makerere so that I can pay him more rent.

I think I should just go to McGill and kick butt. I really feel my energy moving towards that. I need to remember the kind of student I was a long time ago—the things I liked and enjoyed. These things are important to me.

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