Sunday, April 10, 2011
Saturday April 9, 2011
Today is Saturday so Larry, (our host), Jim (the Math Professor) and I took a tour of the sites of Uganda. First, we went to the Uganda museum, where the guide gave us a tour of the place, recounted the history of Uganda, its independence, its traditions, tribes, music, fossils, etc. She even played the instruments and a student danced. I took pictures and will use the music in a video. The employees were worried about the museum closing in favor of a 60, yes, 60 story building to be erected on the site. It might work out, though, because they will give the museum 2 floors. I hope so; it would be a shame if they moved the museum to a far away place. Then we went to the King's Tomb. This was the original site of the first palace, but last year, it burned down. So plans are underway to rebuild it in the same authentic way. They are practicing on smaller huts. It looks like a huge straw roofed round African hut. One of the descendents (3rd king?) visited Europe and found stone structures and steel buildings, so the original palace was then reinforced with those modern materials. We were toured by a prince who was a direct descendent of the 5th king. His grandfather who is still alive in his 90s was the last born son of the last king. He told us the story of a conversation with this grandfather. His grandfather asked him what is the value of life. He said he failed because his answer was not what his grandfather wanted. His grandfather said the value of life is death. He explained that if it were not for death, no one would care about life or how they lived. In the same way, no one valued the palace that was burned as much as now because it is gone. So, when they rebuild it, it will be cherished. He was a painter and I bought one of his paintings of women going to a wedding ceremony. Very colorful. He is studying tourism and he was most princely. We will exchange emails as I would like to use his art to raise funds for the XOs. Third, we went to the site of the death of the Christian martyrs. It is called Ugandan Martyrs Church and School. When the early Christians were perceived by the king to be a threat to his authority, the missionaries who converted them were burned alive. The thought that there was another kingdom (kingdom of heaven) seemed to undermine his kingdom and the witchdoctors and Muslims encouraged the king to do away with the missionaries. Eventually, the king was exiled and the irony was that he became a Christian before he died. The site was now a church and the home to many children who boarded for school. They were very curious and listened as our guide spoke. In the church, many children were praying fervently and later we went to the gift shop. I bought a rosary for my friend Angela which was blessed and prayed over by the resident priest. When we came back to the guest house, and after we ate, the power went out, so thanks to the long battery life of the XOs, I was able to work with some of the activities to prepare for my Jinja visit on Thursday.