It's been a few days again since I have updated you on everything that happened in Katwadde. In the meantime, we are back home again so I have enough time to spend enough time writing about the most incredible day of the whole trip. The celebration of everything we had done and the future of Katwadde.
As I mentioned in my last post, we had a big party the evening of the 3rd of January. This party lasted all night and there were many people. There were three tents and big boxes with very load music. The people that were there were of every age. There were little children from about six years old, people from about sixty years old and every age in between. There were even mothers with babies present. There were drinks available for everyone and everyone who wanted was dancing. Jari and Bryan had set up two of the computers so people were playing minecraft in turns all evening and they loved it. Many people were there all night but unfortunately Wiard, Jari and me did not have they energy to stay all night so we went to bed at around 1 am to rest before the festivities of the next day.
The next day there was a lot planned but for us it was mostly watching and listening. It all started at around 11 am. In the tents were a lot of plastic chairs and there were already some people sitting there. In the middle tent there was also a couch and two big chairs where we were supposed to sit. John led the whole day by introducing people. translating for us between English and Luganda and speaking to the people. After about an hour, the few people that had been sitting there when we arrived had turned into a real crowd of people. The families of Gertrude and John were there, a lot of women and some men of the village were there. There were a lot of children and there were some important figures of the village who we have met before.
First of all the children were asked in groups of their age to come to the middle and do a bit of dancing. When the music went on they started dancing, but the little ones were very shy at first. The older the children became the easier they danced. It's really something to see, none of it was prepared but it looked very good nonetheless.
Then it all officially started. John explained everything we had done in our time there to the people who were present. The sewing machines, the computers, the things the children have made with us and the waterpipe Wiard has funded for example. They often started clapping because they are very grateful for everything.
There were some more people who had a little speech prepared for us. The head of the parents counsel, the head of the local mosque and one of the elderly men of the village. They mostly thanked us for coming and everything we had done. When it was our turn to give a speech, we turned it around and thanked all of them for welcoming us so kindly in their community and homes.
All these speeches would have been quite tiring, especially because most of it was in Luganda and we couldn't understand a word, if not for the entertainment that was planned as well. The children of the Good Shepard Primary school had prepared multiple things for us. They first sang a song in Luganda. I think they made the song themselves and it was about Katwadde because I heard the name of the village somewhere in there. They also sang "I know who I am" from Nigerian singer Sinach. I you want to listen to the original, just click the link.
The most special part of it all was that they had prepared three separate traditional dances. They wore costumes and in the back were traditional drums played by some of the kids. The dances involved chanting and drumming and a lot of movement. It looked absolutely amazing. The children are still very young because they are still in primary school but they have a great sense of rhythm and they move really good.
They also did a very interesting kind of play in which they dressed up as adults. The play was a fight over custody over a child and it was all done on music. The acting was really good and even though we didn't understand the words the message was still clear.
After all of this everyone who wanted came to the middle to dance a bit before going for lunch. We had lunch with some of the other adults in one of the classrooms. By seeing the meal you could clearly see that we were celebrating. The children all got a meal as well. Instead of the usual porrich that they get at school they now got rice and beans and everyone loved it. There was even an man selling ice cream from the back of his bike. He had a big container of ice cream on their and everyone could go and buy an ice cream from him.
Before calling it a day we walked around the school a bit and talked to multiple people who we have met during our stay to say goodbye. Because the day after, it was already time to go back home.