|Mosque along the Kasese Road|
Eid Al Adhu. About 8 am, a couple of
mats were spread in the far corner of the soccer field next to our quarters and
an imam started the call to prayers over a loud speaker. Students continued to play on the soccer
field. Family Groups, men in their
prayer hats carrying mats and women in shawls trailed by small children dressed
in their best proceeded towards the far end of the soccer field. The mats were placed in two groups, one
behind the other. As the people sat own
it became obviously that the front mats were for men and the ones holding up
the rear were for women. Over the next
hour or so, the mats continued to fill with the faithful.
road to Queen Elizabeth park, the faithful are moving towards the tiny mosques that
are found along along the road. In
Uganda it is a national holiday so even the Cubans across the hospital compound
from us are celebrating with their joyful Latin music.
|Angella at home|
I spend the
earlier part of the day in a meeting about the Continuing Education course with
one colleague. About half way thru we
are joined by another faculty member submitting a proposal. He is glad to have use of our limitless
wireless internet but as a result, discussions on the curriculum come to an
abrupt halt. At noon, anxious to get to
my holiday lunch at my friend, Angella’s place, I tell them I have to
leave. I provide plastic chairs and they
move onto the porch to continue use on the internet. My efforts to contact my friend for
directions are fruitless and it is 2 pm before I reach her. Meantime I feel badly that the fellows are out
on the porch but they have finalized their proposal and already left.
|Angella with children|
Mbarara is a
wild west sort of town. Well it is in
the western part of Uganda and while there are no cowboys or gunslingers there
is a certain kind of hard, bare ground appearance and groupings of dwellings
and meandering roads that is reminiscent of the horse operas of my youth. Angella tells me I just tell the boda boda
(motorcycle driver) to take me to Jesus Cares.
That, she says, is the boda boda stage nearest her home. So I head off side saddle on the boda boda
after negotiating a 2000/- Ug Shillings charge.
We go way beyond the far edge on the northern side of Mbarara town, on
rutted, rock-filled dirt roads, finally arriving at the Jesus Cares stage. There is nothing there to indicate why it is
called Jesus Cares. You live way out
here, I think, you have to believe Jesus Cares!
Then I see Angella waiting in the front of a small duka (shop). She has been calling while I was on the boda
boda, but I dare not answer for fear of losing my balance. We purchase a couple of sodas and beers at
the duka and walk to her place.
She has been
building a house for as long as I have known her. The main part is now substantially finished
with doors and windows and she has a fence on one side. Much remains to be done but this is cause for
celebration. I get a tour of her kitchen
garden, her home and the new house. We
are entertained by her daughter Fiona and a couple of children who stay with
her. A fine celebration for Eid Al Adhu.