Brow creased, she looked warily up at the sky, watched the lightning streak through the gray clouds and light up the sky for a split second. It was barely 6:00 pm and the day had gone dark, already. Out here, the sun usually set at 7:00 pm, promptly, everyday. This was worrying. It shouldn't be this dark this soon, not yet. A thunderstorm was fast approaching. It should not find her out here. It could not. Nayiga looked around the plains, searching for a shelter. A beautiful sunny day had just turned gray and gloomy. She needed shelter, fast. As far as the eye could see there was none to be seen. Several Muvule trees yards apart, but no real shelter, not even a shack, the kind that the villagers usually used for temporary food storage during the harvest. Recently, there had been so many lightning accidents. Children in a primary school nearby had been struck; 18 had died and 50 were injured. Three more - sisters - had also been struck dead on their way from school, three mourners had been killed at a funeral and reports were pouring in from all over the country, more people getting struck, killed and others injured, every time it rained. It was all very worrying. Some said it was happening because too many trees were getting cut down, hurting the environment and nature's balance.The Muvule Tree
The meteorologists in Entebbe said it had something to do with the winds from neighbouring Congo and some abnormal behaviour about the winds between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. Nayiga didn't quite remember what, but she knew the Muvule trees she was looking at now were not much use to her. A man on the radio had said not to take shelter under any trees; lightning strikes trees first. She remembered that much. Quickening her pace, she started running fast as she could back towards the village trading centre. Coming out this far all alone had not been a good idea, but she knew she had had to get away. Lately, home had become stifling. The closed quarters, the leaky roof, the old stained furniture, the rugged concrete floor, the chores. Even the food had lost its taste, the air its freshness, the sun its brilliance and the water its sparkle. It was all too mundane, this humdrum; the ennui of her existence. She longed to be free, to fly, to live.