Orientations
W A R A N D C U LT U R E I N U G A N D A
BOO IS BITTER
Potentially every culture is all cultures.
paul feyerabend
One night in July 2000, around two in the morning, some noise
woke Atek Mary as she was sleeping with her husband and baby
child in their hut on the outskirts of Pagak camp for internally
displaced persons and uprooted families in Acholiland, northern
Uganda. It was totally dark outside. The light of a torch flashed
around, then fixed on her face, blinding her. She realized that
somebody had opened the small window of the hut. It must have
been opened by force, as it usually was locked from inside. Scared
and confused by the sudden flashlight and the noise, she still
noticed that her husband, Olwor Reuben, and their baby son,
Tekkwor, were asleep. Mary could hear some murmuring voices,
and then, somebody pounding on the door. In a forceful voice, she
was ordered to open the door. She refused to answer or open. The
voice from outside repeated the order, and she could now detect
several voices. At least three men were standing outside the hut.
Mary managed to wake her husband, only to hear again the
agitated voices from outside demanding to have the door opened.
Again, the harsh light from the torch flashed at them. Mary and
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