While all of you play with your fancypants iPhones and fool with whatever this “Twitter” business I’m hearing about is, I am content with the perfect technological solution for my Ugandan life: the Ka-Torchi. In Uganda, “ka” is the word used to refer to something that’s small. “Torchi” means torch (or flashlight). They add the i to many words for no particular reason. It reminds me sometimes of Italy, where people will add a vowel to the end of everything.
So, the Ka-Torchi. It is a sturdy little Nokia phone that has…a built-in flashlight. Whoever designed this thing and marketed it in countries with unreliable power supplies deserves a prize, as s/he has probably literally saved my life many times over.
It’s another dark African night at my house,
And I’m thinking that rustling could be mouse.
It’s too inky-black to see what critter may lurk,
So I put my handy Nokia 1100 Ka-Torchi to work.
I have no power, no sink, no washer, no dryer-
Forget other gadgets, it’s Ka-Torchi I desire!
With the click of a button, the room comes alive-
With all corners bright, I’m sure to survive.
I prowl around cautiously hunting my invader,
On this eve, I’m a bazillion-watt, lit-up crusader!
I reach the spot that sounds like the creature’s lair,
And swivel my torch-phone, casting its beam there.
And there lies the beast- carefully placed:
A lizard, asleep on my tube of toothpaste.
It seems this particular lizard has made my house his home. Every day I find him somewhere new- snuggled in my shoes, climbing my clothes, curled in my laundry basket, scaling the spokes of my bicycle. Maybe I should name him.