This morning I woke up feeling so blessed. I had seen giraffes yesterday, and more hippos and elephants than I can count. Additionally, as I left Bwindi and received so many heartfelt wishes for a safe journey, asking me to bring their love to all my family and friends as I travel home, I felt that my heart had been expanded by an entire continent. Then, I saw a terrible sight on the road to Gulu.
We were flagged down by a police officer in a small town who needed a lift to an accident site. As we approached I saw maybe 75 people lining the road and branches of tree’s indicating for drivers to slow. Initially I couldn’t see the accident. Then I saw. A woman had been walking by the side of the road, as most people do, when she must have been hit by a truck. There was no car to be seen. There were parts of her that were unrecognizable.
As my driver and I drove on, we talked about how life can be so unpredictable. I prayed for her family and friends who had no idea it would be her last morning with them. I prayed that they would find peace. I added prayers for the driver of the car, though I couldn’t understand why he would drive away, when he would have known that he hit someone.
When I arrived in Gulu, my friend John explained that he would also leave, (Though he added that he would have picked up the person, taken them to hospital, then turned himself in to the police.) since the idea of mob justice is so ingrained. Its likely the driver could have been killed by the mob if he stopped. I have read about this type of mob justice happening in other countries in East Africa and remember listening to similar stories from Northern Ireland. Though in Northern Ireland it wasn’t mob justice but, alternative justice, exacted by the paramilitaries who had little, to no faith in the criminal justice system.
I still couldn’t help feeling that the woman left on the road was just left alone. Forgotten. Please join me in praying for her family and friends, and for the driver.