Saturday, November 16, 2013

Peace Celebration

I had the opportunity to help Dr. Val last weekend with their 5 year celebration of peace in the first peace village, Nabwal. As I wrote that last sentence this sounds normal and like something I could easily describe but I don’t even know how.
Picture me, with several ladies from around Karamoja, standing in a big open field in the midst of 5 giant cooking fires with huge sauce pans on them. Then add to that picture roughly 1,000 karamojung in their traditional wear singing and dancing around us while they wait for the food to be ready to eat. Two bulls have been slaughtered in the not so distant background and we are mixing food with huge sticks and carrying the meat for boiling in large basins. Can you picture it?  Don’t worry, I don’t think I could have either if I hadn't been there.
Some days....
We had lots of rain while in Nabwal and the day after the big celebration it was still raining but we were trying to get back to Kangole. I had both axles buried in mud and had three Karamojung men yelling in the windows at me to go three different directions. (Literally. Go forward, go back, turn hard right) But if you've ever been in 3 feet of mud you know that you are really not going anywhere.  You trying to picture it?  I’m in a skirt (because that is what women wear out here) with my favorite gum boots on. My land cruiser has mud coating it from the roof all the way down. There is so much mud tossed up on the back window that I can’t see through it at all. It is hot and humid and I would rather just be sitting with a book and a cup of tea on this rainy morning and instead I’m trying to ignore all of the people yelling at me while rocking the vehicle enough to get an inch or two of traction. I have it in 4wd low and finally manage to grab a bit of solid ground under the mud and am able to accelerate out (as much as you can call 2nd gear accelerating). Everyone splashed back over to me and climbed back in, congratulating for getting unstuck again (it was my 4th time that morning). 
Yet somehow this is becoming normal...

I was driving between the peace village and my home and had to stop on the side of the road because just a few feet from me was an adult pair of ostriches. The male at nearly 8 feet tall with his flame red neck and coal black feathers shook his giant wings at me while the slightly smaller (at only 7 feet tall) dusty gray female moved back away from the road into the bushes. 

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