On the Heels of the Hill

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Chapter 2: My Routine

To Nalongo, the presence of nsenene in the area would not stop her from following her plans, at least she had always thought. And as usual she had made her plans to go to the weekly open market in the neighbouring village of Bagarame. She had prepared the previous evening to go and buy rock salt commonly known as ekihonde for her cattle and goats. She had fed her cattle on rock salt for a long time and it was her secret of keeping her animals so healthy and strong. She had one time shared her secret with her friend Kabahima and a number of other cattle farmers that rock salt or any other salt helped her animals to grow stronger bones. Every other family in and around the village had always used rock salt in preparing food but never really knew that it could make their weak animals strong and healthy. Kabahima had laughed at the idea until she fed her cows on ekihonde. It had made them drink so much water which prompted her to dig a well in the valley for her cows to drink from because she would never manage fetching water for the herds anymore. She had become the best herdswoman with the largest herd and flock ever since.

Nalongo had organized everything the usual way; her handbag, two light lessos a pair of tire sandals she had brought from the city and her five hundred shillings note. With five hundred shillings, she would be able to buy ekihonde that she could feed on her cattle and goats for a month.

But on a day like that, Nalongo never really ever wanted to be away from home. She had suffered a tremendous loss of her poultry on the tether and some of her household property to thieves. She wanted to be around so she could be the guard of her home and property. But then again, she didn’t have a choice, some of her children were at school and she had let loose the others to go and pick nsenene. There was no easy way of finding her children so she could leave home and go buy ekihonde.

Things were not fine, she was so skeptical on going to the market and leaving her property unprotected and she wasn’t sure the market was going to work if the news of nsenene spread down there. It was so probable that most merchants would pack up their merchandize and head for Buzina to pick nsenene as they conduct their trade. Nalongo then decided to first lurk around to see if any of the famous merchants were around. It would also give her a chance to get an eagle eye on the market place in the valley from the top of the hill.

Nalongo then came out of her house, smartly dressed with a line of fake cheap pearls around her neck. She had laid her baby back to sleep and so she swung like a free bird. She didn’t carry a bag or anything else. She shut the door behind her, picked a lesso from a window, wrapped it around her waist and walked fast out of her compound, heading for the peak of Buzina to spy on the market in the neighbouring village.

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