Molly in Africa

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Final Week in Uganda...

On Christmas Eve, my parents, Matt and I went to Simon Peter's mom's house. When we arrived, we were greeted by drumming and dancing of Simon Peter's youngest siblings (ages 20 and 22) and his nieces and nephews. It was quite a welcoming ceremony! They took us to the their water source which meant that we got to see some of the little gardens that people keep to help provide food for their families. These crops were mostly sweet potatoes, maize and beans. After a nice visit with them, we returned to the Parish Center nearby where we were staying for the next couple of days.

That night, we went to midnight mass and we all wore traditional African formal wear. My mother and I each wore a gomesi (the "i" isn't really pronounced), my dad wore a kazu (I'm not sure on my spelling of this, but hopefully you can at least get the pronunciation) and Matt wore a kitangi shirt. The mass was in Luganda except for the second reading which was read in Luganda and in English (by me) and the gospel (which Fr. Simon Peter read in English for us). At the end of mass, I introduced myself and my parents and Matt in Luganda and everyone thought it was hysterical to hear a muzungu speaking their language. :)

On Christmas day, after going to mass in the morning, we went back to Simon Peter's mom's house. The festivities were unbelievable! There were musicians and professional dancers hired for the afternoon, so we were entertained by great music and dancing. Near the end of the dancing, Simon Peter's youngest two siblings and I danced the traditional Baganda dance (which I have learned) and we were quite entertaining. Everyone was impressed that a muzungu could "shake it" like them. hahah! It was a fun day.

The day after Christmas, we went to the parish out in the bush where the school will be built that my mum's school is supporting. We distributed blankets and mosquito nets to women and children there. That night, we went back to Fr. Simon Peter's mom's house and exchanged presents. His family is so wonderful and fully embraced my family. While I had been adopted early on by the family, my whole family was adopted and we were all given new Bagandan names from their clan.

During our last days we visited Queen Elizabeth National Park and were able to see elephants, warthogs, hippos, birds, a hyena and more. On our last night, we had dinner in Kampala with some of Fr. Simon Peter's family and then they all saw us off at the airport.

I'll put pictures in another post because they're too big to fit here. :)


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