I once met a young man named Joseph Oyule on a trip to Mombasa, Kenya. We exchanged addresses and kept in touch for a while. Now, five years later, as I lay on the bed in a villa at the Kingfisher resort in Malindi, 75 miles (120 kilometers) up the coast from Mombasa, Mirja runs in and exclaims: "Guess who's here! Joseph Oyule!"
He just shows up. Takes a two hour bus from Mombasa and a taxi, and here he sits. He’s young, smaller than I remembered, almost timid in his yellow polyester shirt with a too big collar, slacks and big battered wing tips. Joseph, Mirja and I sit and make halting small talk, alone in the still heat at the Kingfisher bar.
Two European female acquaintances are due for lunch, and I can see this particular fivesome isn't made in heaven, so I decide to take Joseph to a beach hangout called the Driftwood, for lunch. We hop a taxi.