Tagged: small insights

UGANDAN STYLE CHRISTMAS

p1270917editblogKooga and Davis

Har fejret jul i Uganda, og det har været fantastisk. // I’ve celebrated Christmas in Uganda – it’s been amazing.

p1270862editblogFun times!

Der er ferie på skolen, men jeg fik arrangeret at 12 børn, der bor i området, kunne komme og fejre jul. Joel var så venlig at lægge hus til, da mit sted er for småt. I Uganda fejrer man jul den 25. december, og det var egentlig meningen, at vi bare skulle være samlet den dag. Men det endte med at blive udvidet til tre dage! Lad mig bare sige, at det er pænt hårdt at være alenemor til 12 børn. Ha! Men det var det hele værd.

It’s school holiday, but I arranged that 12 children living in the nearby area could come and celebrate Christmas. Joel kindly lent us his house, since my place is too small for so many people. In Uganda Christmas is celebrated December 25th (in Denmark we celebrate the 24th), and we were supposed to meet only that day. Yet suddenly it was extended to last for 3 days! Let me just say that single parenting 12 kids is hard. Lol. But it was worth it.

p1270818editblogFrank 

Den 24. december mødtes Joel og jeg tidligt om morgen. Vi kørte til Semuto for at slagte en gris. Vejen op gennem landsbyerne var fantastisk. Der var juleforberedelser alle vegne. Mange små byer var pyntet med flag og der blev slagtet dyr her, der og alle vegne. Aldrig har jeg set så meget ophængt kød – og så mange mennesker stimle sammen om de små slagter boder. Julen er vigtig og noget mange sparrer op til i lang tid. Man spiser kylling, gris eller ko. Muslimer spiser får. Ged er der ikke så mange om – det er mere hverdagsspise.

Slagtningen af grisen i Semuto foregik på et leje af bananblade. (Billeder kommer snarest.) Det var fantastisk at se arbejdet blive udført med sikker hånd. De fleste vesterlændinge ville nok rynke på næsen og fødevarestyrelsen komme råbende med løftede pegefingre. Men der er styr på det.

December 24th Joel and I met early in the morning. We went to Semuto to slaughter a pig. The drive up through the villages was amazing. There were Christmas preparations everywhere. Many villages were decorated with flags and animals were slaughtered literally everywhere. I’ve never seen this much meat – and so many people gathered around the small butcher booths. Christmas is important here and something people save for in a long time. You eat chicken, pig or cow. Muslims eat sheap. Goat is mostly eaten outside the season.

The slaughtering of the pig in Semuto was done on a bed of banana leaves. (Pictures will come soon.) It was amazing to see the way it was done. Most westerners would probably lift an eyebrow and feel somehow lose their appetite, and the officials working with hygiene (don’t know what you call them in English) would most likely come running with all their rules and regulations. But people know what they are doing here.

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Slagtning af gris // slaughtering of a pig

Efter slagtningen kørte vi omkring nogle bittesmå landsbyer i området og hentede fire børn. Jeg elsker at møde familierne og se hjemmene til børnene. Det giver en større og dybere forståelse for børnenes livsvilkår. Der var smil over hele linjen. Så kørte vi mod Joels hus og gjorde stop her og der for at købe mad til julen. Herefter tog jeg en boda boda hjem for at hente mine ting, hentede Frank og så tilbage til Kawanda, hvor Joel bor.

After the slaughtering we drove to some tiny villages to pick up four kids from school. I love to meet the families and see where the kids come from. Such visits give a greater and deeper understanding of the kids’ living conditions. There were smiles everywhere. Then we drove back to Joel’s house and stopped at some small booths to buy food for the Christmas meal. Afterwards I took a boda boda home to get my things, picked Frank from his home and then we went back to Kawanda, where Joel stays.

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Så er flokken samlet // All of us together

Senere på aftenen fik vi besøg af de sødeste mennesker. En lille gruppe på fire personer iklædt nissehuer og bilen spækket med julepynt og gaver. De kom fra en ugandisk Whatsapp-gruppe, der hedder ”Buy & Sell”. Den ene er veninde med en af mine ugandiske veninder. Hun havde fortalt om BDI, og de ville gerne hjælpe med at sprede noget juleglæde. Så de kom med juletræ, balloner, pynt, kage, gaver og meget mere. Det er faktisk første gang, at vi har haft lokale til at hjælpe. Det var fedt! Det er selvsagt ikke kun ”hvide mennesker” der kan hjælpe og gøre en forskel. Det synes jeg er vigtigt, at børnene ser.

Later that night we had a visit by the kindest group of people dressed with Christmas hats and their car full of Christmas decorations and gifts. They come from a Ugandan Whatsapp-group named “Buy & Sell”. One of the people is a friend to one of my Ugandan friends. She had told about BDI and the people wanted to help spread some Christmas joy. They came with a Christmas tree, balloons, decorations, cake, gifts and a lot more. It was actually the first time we had local help. It was fantastic! Needless to say it’s not only “white people” who can help and make a difference. I think it’s very important that the kids see, that Ugandan people can help and care too.

p1270827editblogJulekort fra “Buy & Sell” // Christmas card from “Buy and Sell”

Næste dag kom endnu flere børn til, og vi endte med at være præcis 12 børn plus mig og Joels to søstre og en bror, der var så søde at lave mad til os alle sammen.

Next day even more kids came, and we ended up being 12 kids plus me and Joel’s two sisters and one brother who were so kind to cook for all of us.

p1270813editblogFlavia and Cate

Dagen gik med at lægge puslespil, tegne, spille fodbold, hænge ud, se tegnefilm og grine.

We spent the day doing puzzles, drawing, played soccer, hung out, and watched cartoon and laughed.

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Julemåltidet blev indtaget til frokost og det var vidunderligt. Kartofler, matoke (madbananer), ris, spaghetti, jordnøddesovs, gris, ko og noget stegt hvidskåls-halløj. Mmmm!

The Christmas meal was eaten at lunch and it was delicious. Potatoes, matoke (green bananas), rice, spaghetti, groundnut sauce (here just knows as gnuts), pig, cow and some cooked cabbage. Yum!

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Festmåltid! // Christmas meal!

Senere på aftenen var der kage, som var blevet givet af ”Buy & Sell” gruppen. Her skærer alle kagen for, så alle har en hånd på kniven. Så tæller man til tre og kniven føres ned. Haps!

Later in the evening we had cake given by the “Buy & Sell” group. Here everyone cuts the cake, so all kids held the knife. Then we counted for three, and the knife cut through the cake.

p1270965editblogSådan skærer man kage // How to cut a cake

Omkring kl.23 var det sengetid. Vi blev alle stuvet sammen på fem madrasser. Det var pænt varmt, skal jeg hilse at sige. Lidt i halv syv næste morgen blev jeg vækket af den første lille nisse, og snart var alle vågne. I løbet af formiddagen kørte vi alle hjem til deres respektive familier.

Around 11pm it was time to go to sleep. We were 13 people sharing 5 mattresses. It had its charm despite being seriously hot. Some little time before 6:30 am next morning the first little elf came to say good morning to me. Soon everyone was awake. Joel came around 10am and then we took the grand tour driving everyone home.

p1280004editblogGodnat // Goodnight

En meget dejlig jul. Og forhåbentlig ikke sidste gang, at det lader sig gøre på denne måde. Tak til de søde mennesker, der har sendt penge til at give børnene (og mig) en uforglemmelig jul.

It’s been a lovely Christmas. And hopefully not the last time I get to celebrate Christmas this way. Thanks to the people who sent money to give the kids (and me) an unforgettable Christmas.

p1270752editblogSolnedgang fra huset // Sunset from the house

Se flere billeder nedenfor. // More pictures in the gallery below.

“I DO”

p1270158editblogKitiibwa & Sarah

*english below*

I lørdags var jeg til det længe ventede bryllup. Og sikke et bryllup!

Fik besked på at være i kirken kl.13. Jeg var lidt spændt på om man faktisk holder tiden til den slags ceremonier. Jeg nåede da også at få en smule koldsved fordi vi var forsinkede, for ville vi nu gå glip af hele ceremonien? Vi kom cirka 40 minutter for sent og jeg måtte grine højt, da vi nærmest var de eneste, der var kommet. Så ja, afrikansk tid er åbenbart også gældende for bryllupper. Der gik lang tid inden flere begyndte at komme. Men så, endelig skete der noget. Og cirka kl.15.45 gik ceremonien i gang.

Først kom Kitiibwa med jakkesæt, en pink skjorte og det allermest cool knaldrøde store butterfly. Han blev fulgt ind af sin mor. Derefter kom smukke Sarah i en overdådig hvid kjole med strut, blonder, perler og slør i følge med sine brudepiger – som i øvrigt gik forrest. Og så var der en masse ceremonielle ord frem og tilbage. Gik desværre glip af det meste, da tolken ikke var helt kvalificeret til dagens opgave. Pyt. Kitiibwa og Sarah sagde ”’ja” og fik hinanden.

Efter brylluppet var der reception. Vi skulle hurtigt afsted, så vi kunne være derinde inden brudeparret. Det var en slags overdækket lokale med en fantastisk udsigt over det mest af Kampala. Der var stillet borde op, som var dækket med hvide duge. Alle stole havde hvidt betræk og lyserøde bånd. Og så sad vi der imens musikken bragede ud af højtalerne og folk dansede rundt på må og få. Der var i øvrigt ikke dækket op med glas og tallerkener, sådan som man kender det fra danske bryllupper.

Og så kom de; brudeparret. De gik dansende rundt om alle bordene og bød folk velkommen. Da alle borde var igennem (vi var måske små 100 mennesker) satte brudeparret sig ned ved hovedbordet. Og så skulle alle præsenteres. Og det foregår simpelthen sådan, at man rejser sig op (i flok – fx alle os fra BDI) og så går man dansende op til hovedbordet og står i en halvcirkel så alle kan se en. En ”toastmaster” fortæller hvem man er, og derefter får en person fra halvcirklen mikrofonen og fortæller lidt mere. I vores tilfælde blev vi introduceret som ”BDI family”. Og hvem er nu vi? Noget med døve? Joel benyttede lejligheden til at fortælle lidt. ’Tegnsprog er tålmodighedens, kærlighedens og håbets sprog’, som Joel så smukt formulerede det. 

Florence og Davis (to elever fra vores skole) og jeg blev selvfølgelig peget ud i dagens anledning, da vi alle tre er døve. Det er ikke første gang jeg er blevet peget ud på den måde. Den slags er altid lidt mærkeligt, fordi man føler sig som sådan en ting, der skal studeres. Men jeg forstår pointen; at vise, at vi er helt ligesom alle andre. Og vi blev da også taget vældig godt imod, om end der også var mange der bare blev ved med at glo – også længe efter vi var færdige med at præsentere os. Det er i øvrigt heller ikke første gang, at jeg oplever dét.

Nå, efter introduktion af alle var der mad! Hvert bord gik efter tur op og fik en tallerken mad og en sodavand. Klassisk ugandisk mad; ris, matoke (madbananer), cassava, kål, chapati, kartofler og et mindre stykke kød. Efter middagen forsvandt brudeparret og kom tilbage igen i de smukkeste farvede og prikkede kreationer. Der var bestemt noget spansk vibe over det! Og så var der mere dans (for video, se her eller nedenfor) og bryllupskage. Bryllupskagen var vældig fin, men temmelig kedelig. Ligesom en halvtør sandkage med smagløs glasur. (Det overraskede mig ikke, for jeg har før fået fødselsdagskage, som er den samme type.) Og så er der åbenbart tradition for at gæster for kage med hjem. Så alle borde fik en hel kage med. Vores er senere blevet delt på skolen.

Omkring kl.22 var festlighederne overstået og vi tog hjem. Et rigtig fint og meget anderledes bryllup. Jeg er meget glad og taknemlig for at kunne være en del af deres store dag. Tillykke til Mr. and Mrs. Kitiibwa!

Se billeder nedenfor.

//

Saturday I went for the long waited wedding. And what a wedding!

We were told to be at church at 1pm. I was a little excited whether people actually keep time for such ceremonies. And so I did start to get a little nervous, as we were late. Would we miss the ceremony? We were about 40 minutes late and reaching church I had to laugh hard since we were almost the only ones being there. So yes, apparently African time applies for weddings as well. It took long before more people came, but then finally something happened. At about 3:45pm the ceremony started.

First, Kitiibwa, dressed in a suit, a pink shirt and the coolest big red bow tie, came in with his mother. Then came Sarah with her bridesmaids. She was dressed in a beautiful white dress with lots of blondes, tulles, pearls and a veil, and looked so beautiful. Then all of the ceremonial talking happened in front of the altar, but unfortunately I missed most of it, since the interpreter of the day wasn’t quite qualified for the task. Oh well. Kitiibwa and Sarah said, “I do” and got each other!

After the wedding there was a reception in Kampala. We had to leave quickly since we had to be there before the wedding couple. The place reminded of a gazebo located on the second floor with a view of most of Kampala. All the tables had white table cloths and all chairs had white covers and pink ribbons. And so we sat there while the music played loud over the crowd and people danced here and there. The tables were btw cleared – no plaits or glasses or anything, as we know it from weddings in Denmark.

And then they came, the wedding couple. They walked dancing from table to table to greet everyone welcome. When they had been at all tables (we were perhaps around 100 people) they sat down at the main table. And then everyone had to introduce him- or herself. It is done like this; you stand up (in a group – for instance all of us from BDI) and then you walk dancing to the main table and stand in a half circle so everyone can see you. The master of ceremony introduces you and then one person from the group gets the microphone and speak. In our case we were introduced as ‘BDI family’. And who exactly are we? Something with the deaf? Joel shared a few words and beautifully stated, ‘sign language is the language of patience, love and hope’.

Florence and Davis (two students from our school) as well as myself were ‘pointed’ out, as we are deaf. It’s not the first time I have been pointed out like that, and it always makes me feel a little weird – like I’m an object to be studied. But I do understand the point, which is to show other people that we are just like them. And people did treat us all well. A few though kept starring even long after the presentation had come to an end. Not the first time I have experienced that either btw.

Anyways, after the introduction it was time for food! After turn we all walked out to a small hallway and received a plate of food and a soda. It was classic Ugandan food; rice, matoke (green bananas) cassava, cabbage, chapati, potatoes and a small piece of meet. After the dinner the couple disappeared only to turn up again shortly after dressed in the most beautiful colorful dotted creations. It certainly had some Spanish vibes to it. And then there were more dancing (for video, see here or below) and it was time for wedding cake! The cake was very beautiful, but the taste was a little boring. It was like a dry cake with tasteless frosting. (Didn’t surprise me, since I’ve had birthday cakes before. They are of the same type.) And then apparently it is tradition to give the guests a cake to take home. All groups had a whole cake. Us at BDI as well – we shared our cake at school.

Around 10pm the wedding celebrations were over and we went home. It was a very beautiful and very different wedding. I’m very grateful that I got to be a part of their big day. Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Kitiibwa!

p1270086editblogKitiibwa and his mother

p1270112editblogBeautiful Sarah and her bridesmaids

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p1270127editblogWalking down the isle

p1270147editblogAt church

p1270153editblogAt church

p1270255editblogThe wedding couple arriving at the reception

p1270211editblogThe wedding cake!

p1270283editblogLet’s dance!

If the video isn’t working, go to YouTube and watch it.

MOVING ON UP

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Hurra hvor det går! Op, op, op! Læs mere om vores skoleprojekt og hvordan du kan støtte lige her. // Building is going well – moving on up! Read more about our project and how you can support right here.

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Klik på billederne for at se dem store // Click on the images to enlarge