Independence Day

Ugandan Independence Day took place on a Sunday, and we heard there’d be a celebration at the district headquarters in Zombo. Peter drove us through the rain to Zombo (expertly avoiding getting the truck stuck on a steep hill), where hundreds were walking about a huge muddy field, at the center of which was a circle of people performing traditional Ugandan music and dancing.

As soon as we arrived, though, all attention turned to us. Children followed us silently, parting like the Red Sea when we needed to get through. The music and dancing continued and we tried to watch, but surrounding us was a distracting mass of people. At least one hundred children pressed against us from all sides, just staring and occasionally giggling to one another. I took their picture and showed it to those in the front, and the circle pressed closer.

Twin Sister – All Around And Away We Go

Stevie and I relieved some of the tension by trying to scare them (which sounds much worse than it is; trust me). We’d turn around suddenly and say “Boo!” — most would jump or run away laughing, and only a few with momentary but genuine terror on their faces.

She's scaring the children.

She's scaring the children.

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