Bosco is the Child Voice driver. He is a short, brown, smiley man that has taken Matt, Megan, and I out to Lukodi every workday these past few months. In the short time I’ve known Bosco, I’ve noticed that he is known and loved by everyone in the village. Our truck or van is always packed full of people on the way back into Gulu because Bosco insists on giving everyone a ride. Bosco also has the worst mumbling problem I’ve ever heard, so most of the time we have no idea what he is saying. However, this has just turned into one of his many endearing qualities. He is a devout Catholic. He adores his children more than anything, goes on rants about how much he hates cigarettes, and really loves his Pepsi.
On Sunday afternoon we were invited to Bosco’s home for dinner. Which was a huge deal, as I can’t imagine he had much money to host all of us. He picked us up in town and was unbelievably giddy. Just adorable. We met his beautiful family and then sitting in his hut, we drank sodas and talked while waiting for the food to come. I had a lump in my throat already, overwhelmed by the kindness and hospitality. I had never felt so honored so be given a Fanta in my entire life.
That lump in my throat only grew larger as Bosco opened up about his life (I’m not sure if all these details are perfectly correct, but I’ll do my best to remember). Bosco’s mother was an Acoli woman who married a Kenyan man. When Bosco’s father was traveling from Kenya to see them in Uganda he was shot and killed by soldiers during the days of Idi Amin. Bosco was only two years old at the time. When Bosco was five, his mother died of illness. His widowed grandmother raised Bosco and his three siblings. In 1994, he moved to Kampala. Having never been educated, he worked in a factory and saved up enough money to put himself through driving school. He worked as a driver for the Spanish Consulate for a few years and then moved his family back to Gulu. In 2010, he was hired as a driver for Child Voice and that year his youngest child, a two year old, fell into a pot of boiling water and died from the severe burns. Bosco has every reason to be a jaded, broken, man. And yet, he sat there talking about how God was such a good father and I was just beaming looking at this life Bosco had made for himself. He has a home, he provides for his grandmother, wife, three children, two nephews, and a cousin, he sends his kids to school, and everyone seems healthy and happy.
Then came the food. Oh my gosh. There was as much food on that table as there is at Thanksgiving dinner, if not more. I think we were all sweating from eating so much, but I stuffed my stomach until I literally thought I would burst. I paid for it later, but it was all worth it.
After dinner, we said formal thank you’s to Bosco, his wife, and his grandmother (who, by the way, is ancient, but still strong and kickin’ it). His grandma insisted I greet my family and friends in America for her. Bosco told us how honored he was to have us come to his house. He said in all his life he has never had “bosses” come to see his come and family. At this point, we began to pray before leaving and I couldn’t hold the lump in my throat any longer. The tears started flowing. I was so humbled by Bosco’s life and touched by the kindness and hospitality of his family. I’ll cherish that experience for as long as I live.