my funniest story ever

My wife and I were trying to think of funny stories, and this is my funniest story ever, from a visit to Uganda back in 2006.

Over the last few days, I’ve written a couple of letters to my wonderful wife D, but I haven’t had the chance to send them, so they’ve been sitting on the table in my hotel. This evening when I returned to my room after work, I went to get out my computer and found – together with the two letters I had written – another letter, written in an unfamiliar script! Here are excerpts:

Dear Sweetie,
How are you and your life generaly? From my side things are so fine the way you always see me through we don’t meet each other sometimes.
As far as your letter is concerned from yesterday, I read but I didn’t understand because…I thought you had written to someone else…
So sweetie, I also love you too much and if you are realy serious, I welcome you with my two hands in my arms. Also I am a born-again christian… [ME: One of my letters mentioned attending church.] Even I would feel good to be in your country if you could arrange and take me there to tour because I love the place….
BE SPECIFIC AND SERIOUS I VOW TO BE YOURS FOR GOOD AND EVER!
[and a bit more]
She goes on to suggest that she’ll come to my room early tomorrow morning or that I can call her tonight at 8pm at a number she provides. I read the letter at 8:25pm and tried to call but couldn’t get through!

This experience is all the more striking because it’s happened before: in 2000, I was staying at the Joyland Lodge in Busia, Kenya, and the woman who washed my clothes slipped a similar note into my clean laundry (with no unwisely left love letters to provoke her). She also mentioned coming to see my country. I’m amazed by the earnest willingness of someone to consider a marriage based on nothing but a couple of letters (or in the previous case, not even that) and my perceived citizenship in a wealthy country. And yet, as I look around me, I shouldn’t be amazed.

I’ve written a note that I hope is kind but clear and very apologetic for the confusion.
And then, the next day

When I awoke this morning, the note was gone, and when I returned home from work, I found another letter in the drawer by my bed:

Thank you very much. I appreciate the way you have told me through the letter because to be with two wives is committing adultery which is a very big sin. I wish you well and if you go back greet everybody and I encourage you next time to come back to [the hotel I’m staying at].

She also wished me blessings and safety in my endeavors and travels.

Good times…
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