I have been putting off writing about my day, because I don't know where to begin. I suppose the beginning is as good a place as any.

I worked on my final report this morning. I have a few budget odds and ends to tie up before I am totally done. But--it is mostly complete. The internet came on around noon, so I was able to check email and facebook. Heard from both of my parents. Its odd to think I will be home in one week. Having an Asian Noodle Salad at Crave in the Mall of America. That is NUTS.

But I digress.

I changed into my gomez. Shakila tried to help me tie it…Joy fixed me. I enjoyed some popo before heading out in the Prada (not the truck!) with Jude and Mr. Ndawula. The drive to Kabulassoke went quickly. Funny how when you want to savor something, when you want time to slow down, it seems to go in double time. (Or cut time? I should ask Eric.)

28 women attended my farewell party. It was hosted by the Ndawula’s.

First came the songs and dances. The youngest Nalongo—with the missing tooth—led most of the songs, but Jude’s shadow friend sand a jaunty little number as did Florence. The songs were sang to me and about me. “Welcome Lauren/Maureen/Noreen…may God bless you…we wish you a safe journey…bye bye Laureen bye bye.”

Following the songs came dancing. I left my comfort zone back in Busense (or maybe even America) and danced along. Jude tied a raffia belt/skirt on me and I danced right along with them. Jude’s shadow friend was the best dancer—her hips MOVED. Josephine had some moxie too, though her style was much more sensual. Lots of pelvic thrusting! There were 2 big drums and 1 tall skinny drum. My attempts at playing them were pretty dismal. I wish Eric could have been there do to a better job!

Several people gave speeches. Aminah’s was by far my favorite. She wrote a note on behalf of the group. The English was rough, but it was one of the most touching things anyone has ever done for me. I will treasure that note! After speeches, I ate and ate and ate. I had a luwomba—and even had a Riham cola.

After lunch, Mr. Ndawula showed me his parent’s house, the family graveyard and introduced me to half of his family. And everyone wanted pictures! Before I knew it I was presented with a mat and money for a dress (chitenge). I hugged everyone, alternating between welaba and webale. Oddly enough, this part of the gathering was devoid of any emotion. It is sort of mechanically happened.

The drive back to Kabulassoke was shorter than the drive out. I said goodbye to Mr. Ndawula, my father, at Butale Mixed Primary School. I said “Take care, my father.” What else is there to say?

Back at home, I made chapatti with Shakila. She even invited me. There wasn’t much of a recipe just a dash of this and a splash of that, but it was fun to cook with Shakila. And, I was so happy to have the chance to make chapatti.

Here is my guesstimation.


-Dice onion
-Shred carrot
-Dice green peppers
-Mix vegetables

-add a few pinches of salt, some water and cooking oil
-Add egg and milk (optional)
-Add flour
-Mix until dough is not sticky
-Kneed into balls/discs
-Using some additional flour, roll into thin pancakes
-Fry (quickly) in cooking oil

I enjoyed my chapatti and chatted with my brother, Jude. It was so reminiscent of my first week when the power was out and we talked in the dark over tea. Where has the time gone?



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    There are selected journal entries from my time in Uganda.

    Note: The years have been changed on the journal entry dates to allow readers to scroll through the posts in chronological order. The month and day are accurate.