Oct 12, 2017

Market Day Excites Serere

Market day (Okisoni) in Serere

Early in the morning, before the birds came out to sing, before one could see beyond their nose -  in the pitch-black dark of night, feet shuffled outside; People talked in the distance and footsteps went pitter-patter on the village paths. A special day dawned. A day to buy and sell - to exchange and trade.
People came from miles around, from neighboring towns and villages. Some walked, some rod bicycles, others came by bus or taxi.

Oct 9, 2017

Uganda’s Green Grass: The story of a homesick woman

Kigezi hills 

Once the excitement over clean, organized streets and sophisticated infrastructure in the developed world wore off, it came down like a wet blanket -  I missed home. I observed as people rushed along pavements, up and down escalators, round and round revolving doors. There was no time to lose, no smiles to share, and eye contact? No way! Were they embarrassed by my presence? But then again they didn't know me. I could as well have been invisible. I began to miss the familiar strangers on Kampala road. The smell of wet soil after the rain. The sense of community and interdependence I'd grown to take for granted. I longed to hear the “toot toots” of taxis and the sounds of diverse languages spoken with ease. I yearned to speak Ateso, even Luganda however broken and mispronounced the syllables tumbled out. The gnawing desire  for home chewed at every fiber.

Oct 8, 2017

Chaka Mu chaka Military training at Shimoni

Dad tuned to radio Uganda one bright Saturday morning and heard an announcement inviting boys and girls on holiday to attend "chaka mu chaka" military training at  Shimoni Demonstration School. "Chaka mu chaka" refers to the military march in Swahili.
Soon after the announcement Daddy declared that my brothers and I would attend the training. Our jaws dropped. What?! A whole 3 weeks holiday was going to be spent on military training? So while our friends shared stories of fun holidays events our hot news would be military training at Shimoni Demonstration School, nice!!
I rather suspect, he didn't want us to idle around. This was a cheap easy way to keep us out of trouble.

Oct 6, 2017

Happenstances of a Ugandan woman in Washington D.C

the largest book in the world
Project not realized: This book would measure at 21 feet long and 12 and a half feet high. It’s a testament to the Kabakov’s long-standing interest in literature and storytelling.

As I studied Kabakov's unfinished project of art work in the Hirshhorn museum a guy came over and said:
"This book reminds me of judgement day when we'll stand before God and account for how we lived our lives."
Me: "oh yeah! I totally see what you mean. Are you a Christian?"
Guy: "Yes I am, amen to that."(almost switches to tongues)
Me: "oh great I'm a Christian too."
Guy: " I'm looking for a wife to marry "
Me: "wow!! You are quick."
We laughed 🤣🤣🤣
Guy: "The registrars office down the road is open till 5:00pm"
Guy: "There's no time to waste. We’ve got to cease the moment."

He returned to say "I talk to people everyday and they scowl, they may respond but you can feel the tightness in their stomachs (he made a grimaced face) but you smiled”.
Not sure what to add to that I said "thank you"
He walked away with a big smile.

We need more smiles in Washington D.C. to keep the human connection alive.

Dear Uganda - A poem

Dear Uganda
I think of you at 55
I may not be with you but
I see how you've grown and regressed
Taken two steps forward and two steps back
The runyegege, the bakusimba, the ding-ding

Sep 14, 2017

Are you my son? (Flash Back)

As Sam and I conversed, Mich eagerly awaited a chance to slot in a word. His dad was still in mid-sentence when out of frustration Mich said “But daddy, you don’t have to use all your words at once” He had our full attention. He is six years old.

Aug 8, 2017

How Stories Mushroom

As I crossed the street this morning something caught my attention.
A space craft? A little tree in a sea of green grass? A sombrero (Mexican hat) sprouting from the earth?
A mushroom! Ebaale! Obutiko!
Scientific name - Amanita phalloides also known as the “death cap”. One cap has enough toxins to kill a human being. It is one of the deadliest mushrooms in the world.

Interesting how some things in life can be so alluring and yet so deadly.
But oh! The detail took my breath away.
That God would attend such detail to this stray fungus that just pops out of the ground when it rains? You Guys!!
How much more vested is He in you and me – creatures created in His likeness?

Now about how I captured this angle. Let’s just say the employees in the building across the street must have been like – “yup! She’s lost it for sure!”  Did I mention I was in a dress? Yeah!
And that is how stories mushroom in my little world.

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