The Ugandan Scientist – Singapore

Moses parted the Red Sea and saved the Jews from slavery. He lead them through the desert and provided solace and hope when there was none. His Moses was not a leader of the Jews but rather a PhD student studying in Singapore, raised in Uganda.

If you sat within two feet of someone for 18 hours, you think you would see them. This was not the case for meeting his Moses. They met during that terrible transition time after the fasten seatbelt sign has turned off but before the plane doors have opened. The conversation of his first visit excited Moses and he offered assistance with receiving a SIM card, boarding public transit, and directions. His wide smile and calm demeanor offered relief to his worries of arriving in a new country where he knew no one and knew little of the culture.

An exchange of numbers and an add on social media later, Moses checked in on him daily to see how his travels were going. They planned to have dinner together, in Holland Village, close to where Moses worked. He took a 40 minute bus ride that left ever two minutes from near his hotel. He witnessed locals jump on and off the bus the way students at a college party run to and from the keg with little regard for personal space but only with the end goal in mine (fill the cup, get to my stop).

He felt mild discomfort over the prospect of meeting a mostly stranger when all he really wanted was to be alone, sleep, and watch Netflix. After encouragement from a close friend in the States, he jumped on that bus. And the joy of meeting a familiar face and sharing a meal with a 3.5 year local in an authentic open air market, featuring many Asian style dishes, was unparalleled.

Conversation flowed from travel and upbringing, to pop culture, and love lives. There was no discomfort in pacing or topics to discount. He sat down with an acquaintance and stood up with a friend. A friend named Moses.

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