So Christmas was a couple days ago. Very different than in the states. We went to church at 9 am on Christmas Day and the service ended at 12:30 pm. By the time we got home it was 1 pm and the women started cooking. Christmas dinner, aka lunch, was served around 2:30 pm. It was a very large spread of all sorts of Ugandan food. Lucy and I gave some gifts to the family members at the house. Normally they don’t do gifts for Christmas.
Around 3:30 I went to a party with Prossy, a math teacher that lives with the family I’m staying with. Lucy wanted to come but she unfortunately had a migraine. The party was thrown by three daughters, for their mother, to say “thanks for still being alive”. The woman was 60, though I would have guessed that she was much older. She was a very sweet woman and she LOVES muzungos (white people) and she hugged me over and over again.
I had a great time at the party. There was a boy who seemed to be in his early twenties who spoke English very well, and infact spoke 4 languages total. He apparently was visiting from Rwanda. There was also lots of VERY cute little kids that liked to take pictures with me. One little girl I thought looked so much like a black version my brother’s daughter Hattie. Another little girl, Brenda, was great at English. The kids around here do learn English in school and actually most of their classes are in English. Still, I think some of them might have better teachers than others and some of course are shy to talk, let alone talk in a language that isn’t their main one. Brenda called me “Gloria”, which actually a lot of people in the states think I say when I say my name, but I didn’t want to correct
her. I want to be Gloria for her! And I do like Gloria better than “Rory” or “Maury” which are some other names that people call me. Laurie is apparently hard to say around here. Since Brenda was the star of the kids (that’s how the kids seemed to see her, idolizing her for her excellent English), all the kids called me Gloria. I’m very ok with being Gloria.
We just ate before we got to the party but there was also a very large meal served at the party. It was so cool looking! Rice, matoke (cooked, mashed, unsweet bananas), yams (which are different than American ones, they are less sweet and more starchy), an irish potato with spices, chicken (they said, I wonder if it really was) and beef steamed in banana leaves. How cool! I ate some of everything. Then I had a Coke and 2 orange Fantas. The first sodas were for the novelty of it, the third was because it was just gifted to me so I drank it.
I gave a gift of two bracelets on behalf of Lucy and myself. The woman had seen Lucy before, who interestingly enough is my height, very similar hair to mine and green eyes like mine. But I have glasses! Anyways, I was told later that the woman LOVED the bracelets and was going on and on about them and was so excited to have bracelets from the muzungos.It is SO beautiful here. My pictures can’t do it justice. One pretty bothersome problem that has started in the past couple days is what I’m thinking is allergies. I pretty much can’t breath. I suffered in this same way when I was in New England in the past year I was there. In Liberia, I had ZERO breathing problems and despite the fact that Liberia was wild, dirty, smokey, polluted; my nasal passages were wide open, free and clear and I breathed like a human is meant to breathe! I’m disappointed that I’m suffering from this. I would imagine that if it is environmental allergies then I will probably suffer at least these 3 months in Uganda, but maybe not. Let’s hope not! I went to the hotel by myself today after church. It was a great time at the hotel, I got a lot of stuff done for the organization. When I walked home, I got lost a bit! Thankfully I saw a cute little boy on the road that knew English enough to help me get back to where I needed to go. I had mostly gone the right way and only made a wrong turn at the very end. I don’t know how long the walk took. 30-45 min I would say. I’ll have to time it again when I DON’T make any wrong turns.