This much I know is true: 1. I could hang out with these kids forever. 2. I need an African drum.
I feel like I might be just as bad as my many Facebook friends posting pictures of their cute mini-thems running around doing and saying cute things… But Seriously. If this were a competition, my afternoon with these nursery students in Uganda blows at LEAST a week of their kid’s cuteness out of the water. Maybe a whole month. I mean, really, did you see those five year old hips move in the video? They don’t lie.
After watching the best performance ever, we sat in on Sr. Juliet’s class with the older nursery students. It made me nostalgic for my first class (of five and six year olds) in Korea. I spent the entire day wondering if we should just stay and if Sr. Juliet would let me help teach her class for um, ever.
After lunch, we headed to Sr. Anita Marie’s (remember, math teacher from my high-school) class to talk about our trip. The girls were pretty enthusiastic about asking questions and inevitably asked us if we were married. When I said “Not yet!” they became all aflutter. When Andrew said “I keep asking, but she keeps saying no!” They were in a complete uproar. It was fun. We taught them a little Korean. Andrew told them about his birthday tradition of eating live octopus. We described cities like Dubai and what the snow was like in Jordan. They seemed to enjoy us and I felt bad we didn’t arrange to go into more classes while we were there.
We had planned on staying for three full days, not wanting to overstay our welcome- but in order to catch a ride the next day to Fort Portal, we had to leave in the morning instead of the late afternoon we had planned. It felt rushed, but unless we were staying for awhile to help with a project, I didn’t want to be a bother. Luckily, after spending some time with Sr. Anita Marie’s students, we were able to visit with Sr. Janet.
She pulled out a quilt some mothers from my elementary school made for her before she left. She’s never washed it because some of the fabric is glued on and there are student signatures on the back of each square, representing a class. She flipped it over to see if I could find my signature. Sure enough, after spotting cousins and recognizing names of students a few years older than me, we figured out I was in Grade 5 when she left, and sure enough, I found my signature on the back of the quilt. She was in disbelief. We took a few pictures.
Then she took us for a little hike up to “The Rock.” We passed a public school and she pointed out the signage was a little different on their walls than it is in say, in Korea, or even America, for that matter. I could see why her boarding schools are so sought after to get a spot in. These schools had sooo little in comparison.
“The Rock” was a big lava rock with a beautiful view. We took a few pictures together before Sister asked us if we were tired or ready to see more. She’s actually moving back to the States this spring due to some hearing issues and less energy, but really, she gave us a run for our money and would constantly ask us if we were ok to see more. It was so nice to chat and walk and visit with her. It was comforting. A link to not only home, but in a way, to my family as well, as she knew my Grandmother.
When I told my Momma that we would be able to visit the Sisters, she warned me at some point not to be worried if they were thinner than I remembered them to be and mentioned eating bugs. I mentioned this to the Sisters over dinner (a dinner in the convent is not that different from a dinner you might have at home- western food, meat and veggies) and they laughed and laughed! One of them said that not many realize what their life is like in Uganda. Water is sometimes limited. Their refrigerator runs on solar powered batteries. But most of what they need in terms of Western food is available in Kampala. We went to a grocery store before we came down and it was equally (if not better) stocked than the grocery stores in Seoul.
Granted, it would be impossible to feed all 600 students the same meals, and I don’t think the Sisters eat as well for every meal. Lunch is eaten at school (I think- for most at least) it’s almost always po-sho (a maize mixture that has the consistency of play doh without much flavor) that is mixed with bean soup. I enjoyed the bean soup. Po-sho is ok, but I prefer the matoke (banana mash) more.
After dinner, Andrew and I were rather excited to play more Dominoes with the Sisters. This seems to be a nightly ritual- playing games after dinner, before bed. They taught us how to play the night before and we were anxious to hone our skills. They might be Sisters of the church, but man, they can play dirty!