Happy International Women’s Day! I so do not understand why American women have not hopped on this band wagon, this is the fourth best day of the year. I’ll explain, today men around the world have to stop and appreciate their women. They do that appreciating by cooking for them and then realizing how much they appreciate that they don’t have to do all that work every other day of the year.At least that is how it works at my house! Denis and I started hanging out on Women’s day 3 years ago, so it’s extra special for us. We celebrated with Ugandan Pork and Cassava. Delic!
I have lived in multiple Ugandan homes and can attest to the incredible women who keep Uganda going. Women run Uganda. From working in the garden, to mopping muddy floors all day, to cooking over a fire in a small room for hours, to holding official positions in government, to running banks and businesses, women are everything in Uganda.
My first Ugandan mother was Toto. She was my host mother when I studied in Mukono. She first taught me what makes a strong Ugandan woman. She worked in the garden all day every day to harvest food to sell and send my brothers and sisters to college. Toto taught me what it means to be family with people you were not born into. She called me Kelele, meaning noisy in Swahili, and she cracked up every time I laughed too loudly. Toto passed away last summer, way before her time should have been up. She left four kids, two of them daughters, Sarah and Kevin, who are growing up to be beautiful young women and I am proud to have them as my sisters. I’m so thankful for her strong example of love and sacrifice. I hope to one day be half the woman she was. We miss you Toto.
There are two types of people in this world, night owls, and morning people. Morning people are obviously sent to earth to torture us normal, sleep loving people. I am finding life a bit busy lately, and sleeping hours a bit too few. Early Monday mornings are painful, here are a few things that get me through the day;
– Homemade biscotti and sweet Ugandan tea.
– Baby smell and toddler smooches.
– Waking up to a winter wonderland outside.
– Before leaving for work I discovered my cat sleeping under the bird cage. I can’t tell if his interest in our new parrot is friendly or more stalkery… Does he want to hug him or eat him? I’m concerned but amused.
– Daydreaming about being back in UG.
– Generous friends and strangers! Since the project has started to be shared so many people have come out of the woodwork with words of encouragement and offers of donations! We are very thankful. 🙂
What gets you through the day?
Denis and I are starting a blog to document our road back to Uganda. We are opening a community center in Mpumudde, Uganda and starting a non profit to fund it and run it. We are inspired by friends of ours who have struggled with literacy and therefore suffered in education. So we plan to open a community center equipped with a library and a computer lab as a resource for the entire community to use.
We were inspired by kids in the community who have almost no access to books at all. Kids who are struggling in school in the subjects that require reading because they have been raised to speak a language other than the one they are taught in or they have been raised not to prioritize education and literacy because there are more immediate needs at home.
We hope to use this blog as a space to share glimpses of our Ugandan community, our American community, and of ourselves as well.
Thanks for reading!