ode to ka torchi.


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.

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6 Responses to ode to ka torchi.

  1. mom says:

    thank you for starting my day with a surprise and a :-) ! how about Lizardo?

  2. megan says:

    i think you should definitely name him. how about frank?

  3. Janice says:

    I had a lizard that lived in my house in Bermuda. He wondered around and as long as he stayed away from my bed I was ok with him. I figured he was busy eating all the roaches that we everywhere. Hope he is eating something helpful for you.

  4. emlsewhere says:

    i’m hoping he’s eating my malarial mosquitoes!

  5. cathy mulligan says:

    how about something really original, like Lizzy? also, glad to know the loser shirts found a good home. we giants’ fans got to wear the winners shirts!!!

  6. mom says:

    this post cracked me up! ka torchi sounds like it should be the name of a bad japanese snack – a friend of mine once brought home seafood and mayo flavored potato chips from a visit there… ka torchi!

    oh, and the lizard should be named Bertha.

    – janice (on mom’s computer)

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