Sunday, June 13th
Today has been my favorite day in Uganda so far. It started with a hot shower in Jinja after watching the US tie England in the 1st round of the World Cup at 2 Friends, a ritzy restaurant/hotel on the outskirts of the city. LOVED IT! We spent some time on the internet in the morning and I was able to upload some pictures and blogposts. Once we made the trek back to Namungalwe I laid down for an hour and woke up to drumming and singing. Usually, I need a few minutes to revive myself after I take a nap but this time I poked my head outside to see what was up and there was Mutesi walking down the drive toward the music in her fancy dress. So, I followed. I followed to her to what was a crazy dance party across the street in anticipation for the arrival of a woman candidate for the parliament. Apparently, it’s voting season and so all the women were there in their fancy dresses; singing and dancing. So, of course, I show up with Mutesi and almost immediately some of the older women put this sash thing around my hips and escorted me out onto the “stage.” I absolutely LOVED it! I wasn’t embarrassed at my lack of dance skills, but tried to follow their movements and rhythm and enjoy the music. The women cheered and laughed and I felt like I was accepted into their circle. I continued to clap and yell and laugh as more women and young girls went out to dance. It was absolutely beautiful…the fabrics of the dresses, the rhythm, the clapping, yelling, dancing; it was what I expected Africa to be and I felt a part of it. I didn’t feel like a complete outsider. I felt like I was invited to join in on their life and celebration and was moved by it. We took the opportunity to take a ton of pictures of the kids that come and play with us and the women we had met earlier at our meetings. The highlight of the evening was seeing our “sister,” Helene dance…seriously…I’m glad I wasn’t out there dancing at the same time. She was amazing, I found out later that she is in a dance class at school and I think I’ve convinced her to give me lessons. We’ll see how that pans out . Well, I hope to make a movie of sorts from the footage! Get excited!
p.s. while I was helping prepare the rice for dinner tonight a hen and its chicks hung out under my skirt…so cute…but one of them is sick and weak and doesn’t look well. I hope it survives.