We went to the place where the women’s ministry meets. It’s on the grounds of a catholic parish, which is located in the slums. Although the church is poor, it’s property is kept in nice condition. Today, they met for their monthly feast. It’s one of the only times some of them can eat as much as they want. Some of us helped the women cook, while others went to go shopping for some important stuff. I stayed to cook, and I have much respect now for their skill: It took 5-8 women almost 5h of work to finish all the food. We cooked outside, over open fires and with little equipment. I was quite clumsy and even cut myself once. I guess I’m not used to cutting without cutting boards. During that whole time, the women’s kids were playing in the courtyard. When we brought out the baloons, they went crazy over those! We played with them, too and were happy about their joy. And at the same time, I was reminded of how hard their lives are: One of the moms who was helping with the food had her baby boy there, and she was barely 15 years old.
Several hours later, we were finally ready to eat. We all sang a song, prayed, and watched the leaders hand out some baby clothes. Then, we visitors served the food on IKEA-dishes. It was such a joy to see them eat, especially the kids. It means so much. So it gave me a new appreciation for those IKEA-dishes we sent them.
After the feast, we went straight to a wedding of our driver Amos’ collegue. We were invited, since it is normal in Uganda to invite friends plus their family/friends. We were definitely underdressed, but that didn’t seem to bother anyone. The MC even welcomed us specifically – because we were white. This kind of treatment would be considered severe discrimination in the US or Germany, but here, it was meant as an honor. I have mixed feelings about it, but decided to take it as a compliment.
There was some singing and dancing, and lots of joy. I like that Ugandans are not afraid to express joy. We ate some food (though most of us were stuffed from the feast) and stayed for about 2h. Our friends said that this was a comparatively modest wedding. I thought it was grand. It was interesting to watch, but we had to leave early because my mom was getting sick. And honestly, I wouldn’t have lasted much longer, anyway. We all had a very interesting and mostly good day. But celebration is a lot of work!