I went with 16-year-old Bernah, an S4 student, to her school’s “PTA” meeting. It was some school officials talking to a lot of parents/guardians at Alliance High School Nansana about fees, construction and other issues. We left the orphanage at 8 to walk to her school. I was under the assumption the meeting started at 9. Well, it didn’t start until past 10:30. We were handed agendas, and already we were a half hour behind schedule. We toured the school. Again, I was the only white person. One of the nice school officials came over to me midway through the tour. “Are you understanding the Luganda?” I looked at him with a smiling, “what do you think?” look. He started explaining in English. I learned about the flushing toilets and satellite TV. We got done with the tour. And this is what followed: kids singing anthems, a prayer, talking in Luganda, talking in English, talking in English, talking in Luganda, talking in English, talking in Luganda, talking in Luganda, FANTA!, talking in English, talking in English, pee, talking in Luganda, talking in English, talking in English, talking in Luganda, questions in Luganda and English, answers in Luganda and English, a prayer. And five and a half hours (no joke) after we arrived, we finally left. I beat 12 or 13 levels of Push Box, the one game on the cell phone Ruth is letting me use.
Kyran wanted to see the land Ruth bought to eventually build their own orphanage. She currently rents a compound and apparently the landlord is trying to sell it. I don’t know. Rental agreements over here really don’t exist, and whatever degree they do exist to is craptacular. So we went to the land and for the first time, I saw Africa like I envisioned Africa. It was not so far removed from the Wakiso distict, but you still felt like you were out in the country. Lots of trees, shabby little houses, people scattered about. After we arrived at the land, which ran from “that big mango tree over there to right about here,” I started taking some photographs (just wait a minute, patience is a virtue). As some of the neighboring children saw me taking pictures of a goat, they ran over to me. Oh, did I forget to mention goats and chickens are everywhere? Chickens just roam around, goats are usually tied to something or someone. I started photographing the kids and showing them the pictures. The kids in Nansana, which is much more of a town, swarm. All at one, a lot of them want whatever it is you have. Here, I knew the kids were limited. There were still quite a few, but I could handle it. Except one of the small boys couldn’t. I got my first pure response from a Ugandan child…absolute fear. Apparently, muzungus don’t make their way up to this plot of land too often and the poor boy was bawling as his friends were pushing him near me. I kept my distance and eventually got a wave goodbye from him, though when he realized at whom he was waving, he abruptly stopped.
And that about sums up the adventures of my day.
I have a ton of pictures of the kids. Most of them are smiling somewhat forcefully. I caught three of them in act of a great expression, sorry this one is blurry. I don’t know their names, I’ll call them the Wakiso kids.
I love you and I miss you, but church with the children is in the morning. Hallelujah!
editor’s note: I like to think I’m fairly good with my English skills. Then I reread my posts and realize that sometimes I’m not as smart as I think. For example, the third sentence of this post said “I was wonder the assumption the meeting started at 9.” Nice.