Global triumph. National Pride. Euphoria.
Uganda has so much to celebrate—finally!
My son Karsten has been engrossed in every Olympic game, calling out the name of each sport as he watches it on television, cheering for the names he knew (like a German runner also named Karsten) and applauding those who took home medals.
During the men’s marathon final, we watched together as Ugandan athlete Stephen Kiprotich ran all the way to the finish line, never quitting or tiring all. Sweet victory!
I remembered how, when I lived in Kampala nine years ago, we would sometimes make relief trips to remote mountain regions in the North border. Those were some of the best, most memorable journeys ever—but definitely not the most comfortable! We’d usually be roughing it with no running water or toilets, and travelling for a week meant bringing that much in food and drink rations.
On one unforgettable occasion, our truck ran out of gas. With no phone signal in the bush, there was no way of calling for help. Some of the locals were riding with us, and one of them volunteered to RUN all the way back to the nearest gas station (we hadn’t seen anything resembling a town or city for hours).
And, run he did!
While the rest of the team waited under the shade of an acacia tree, that Ugandan ran for hours, and a long time later, he was back—with another truck delivering the diesel.
So, while I was ecstatic for Uganda’s Olympic win, I wasn’t completely surprised. They are an amazing people, who have endured untold hardships. In the face of adversity, poverty and war, many keep going. They may struggle, but their spirits survive.
The whole nation is now experiencing a historic moment of sweet victory, which they truly deserve. A race well run!
(Uganda was my home for 3 and a half years, and I really did leave my heart there. Here’s pictures of the dusty road trails, the tribes, and a Rotary meeting where I was guest speaker.)