Saturday, July 30, 2016


Theodore Nangalama

A friend of mine and my IT business partner in Uganda got his puppies poisoned and he suffered a lot from it all.

Then I remembered that when we lived in Nairobi, someone fool had poisoned our dog.  Maybe that is the reason we ended up getting a turtle and drained our swimming pool and hid him there for a while.

We loved our dog but people can be cruel.  So when Mzee (dad) found the pool empty and a turtle in it, he did not punish us as we had feared.  But he told us "you are responsible for your Mr. Turtle from now forward.  In any case we had a river around the back so we could go jump into it when it would get hot.  Nairobi can get very hot in the daytime and then can drop to something like 10 degrees celcius at night.  So Victoria BC was perfect for me because it was not as cold as Peterborough Ontario.

Fast forward.  I am now a grown up and the company is transferring our family from Toronto. Simply amazing.

Each family member was transferred with all their contents labeled (mine was of course the books and computers).

We had our dog Sheba.  The company bought a huge cage.  Sheba was a German Shepherd and rather big but Rebecca had chosen Sheba from the SPCA (animal shelter) and Sheba taught Natasha how to walk.

You people will not believe what happened.  On April 16, 2004, I flew from Toronto with the kids but the oldest one Annet and the dad (Thierry) had to take another flight.  We never ever take the same flight.  Annet and Thierry had remained back to clean the house and hand over the keys to the real estate agent.

It was steaming hot in Toronto (19 degrees in April).  We get to Moncton and it was bloody cold. I am serious.  So the lady who had arranged for our temporary accommodation at the Embassy Suites met me and helped me get into the car (rented and paid for by the company) all the time paying attention to the girls.

The rest of the family was due to land in 6 hours.  Like a fool, I put the little ones in the car and drove to the Moncton airport to pick up Thierry and Annet.

Typical Snow day in Canada

The screens were flashing red.  Flights were delayed.  Major ice storm.  And at this time I am thinking "this cannot be happening".  Finally when I got a chance to ask the Air Canada agent where my family was, she told me that planes could not land in Moncton because of the weather.  Mbu they were gonna land in Saint John New Brunswick or Fredericton.  Oh my gosh!  Those airports are about 2 hours drive away in good weather but we are now dealing with an ice storm so it could take many more hours.

The flight ended up diverted to Halifax Nova Scotia.  Nothing was good in New Brunswick.  And I had previously told my manager that there was no way in hell I would accept at transfer to Moncton where we had been doing some work.  Ultimately with a lot of travelling to Moncton, I am the one who ended up begging to be transferred.  You people have to visit Shediac.  The place grows on you.

Finally my kid Annet texts me and says they are in Halifax and being put on the bus.  I told her to tell her dad to turn his phone on.  He calls me and says they are gonna put Sheba in the luggage compartment on the bus.  But our dog is my  kid.  Things went downhill.  I was yelling "stay in a hotel there and we will drive over and pick you all up (3 hours away) because the thought of Sheba in the luggage compartment on the bus in such weather was nothing short of insane.

Halifax Nova Scotia Canada Airport

French men are very tough.  He walked on the bus and told the driver that our dog is a well behaved dog and please do not let him be put in the luggage compartment.  Meanwhile Annet does a princess pretty thing.  Takes the dog out of the cage and is trailing behind her father while petting Sheba.  The bus driver asked all the other passengers if they could accept for a dog to sit in the bus.  People were watching a kid half freezing but petting her dog and they all said YES.

Some 8 hours later, the family was together in Moncton and I do not remember how much hot chocolate we drunk.  We stayed in that embassy suite for 6 weeks while the company worked out getting our new home ready.  Daily, the girls used to walk Sheba by the ocean.  We used to eat at Fisherman's Paradise or Le Chateau A Pape In Moncton (It burned down by the way).

Those were the most expensive restaurants in Moncton that time but the company allocated $40 per family member per day for food since we were in a place which had a kitchen and the usual $80 per family member per day was not justifiable.  Think about this.  Sheba was also allocated $40 per day for food.  OMG.

Living in Toronto, one usually eats mostly Boston lobster.  You have not tasted lobster until you eat lobster from New Brunswick.  We were eating it daily and our faces started to break out because too much shell fish is not good.

Toronto Island Airport is not Pearson International Airport in Toronto Porter is a great airline
Then Sheba got hit by a car one time (our dogs and cats ought to learn to stay off Scoudouc road) and the Vet in Shediac said she was gonna get a hellicopter to fly the dog from her clinic to PEI ( and I nearly had a heart attack.  So I told her that I was financially challenged.  She then did something like you will not believe.  For three days, her and I slept beside Sheba while she was treating him.  She did all the surgery herself and we just had to keep loving Sheba until when he got discharged.  I have never seen so much love in a doctor (besides the ones who healed me).  The Shediac Animal Clinic is world class and if you are in our area, consider taking your dog or cat there (even rabbits and birds).  They are so good at what they do.

Martha Leah Nangalama
Moncton, Canada
I am passionate about animal rights too!

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