It was strange to spend Independence Day outside of the US. There was no barbeque here, or picnics with the family. No fireworks display while endlessly listening to Katy Perry’s song. It was just another day in Uganda. But it was our first full day. Since we didn’t arrive at the house until close to 1:30am we were allowed to sleep in a little. But I could hear the kids outside singing and playing and by 7:30 I was up.
At around 10, the kids have a break from their lessons. If you remember my little neighbor, Michal, who was afraid of me back in January, I can tell you that she is no longer afraid! In fact, she was the one organizing all the other 3 and 4 year olds to run up to the house and attack us! And attack us they did. They started off with some nice greetings. “Hello. How are you? I am fine.” Then they wanted to hold my hand. Not one of them, but all of them…at the same time. Then came the shouts of “My muzungu!” I started walking towards the school with about 15 kids attached to my arms.
My dad managed to get a picture of me with my posse.
Finally I had to free my arms because I could hardly move. But I decided to have a little fun with them. So I raised my arms up, looked at them for a minute, and then I just started running. They all shrieked and laughed and chased after me. Man those kids are fast! And I learned it’s not a good idea to run in flip flops. They all latched onto my arms again and I walked back up to the house and sat on the veranda. There I started quizzing them. I would say, “These are your?” And I would point to a child’s eyes. “This is your?” And point to their nose. They would respond to each question. Then we sang Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes. Which is seriously just too adorable in little kids with Ugandan accents!
When Eva returned from school (she attends a school separate from Upendo since she’s older and they don’t have a secondary school there yet), she and her friend Sarah literally ran up to the house and gave us the biggest hugs. They ran so fast they could hardly breathe, but it was so great to see them again. We had similar reactions from some of the other kids. Big smiles from Ameri, and a hug that about squeezed all the air out of my lungs from Vicky.
I can't think of another place I'd rather be right now!