My first week of fun in Kampala Uganda, Part 1: Learning from the wise and kind and bending a tree.
This week, my days have been filled by bumping into friendly eccentric individuals. I have spent the week tied at the hip with my friend Caleb who will also be blogging about his perspective of the same events. Side note: he is taking forever to send me his photos!
Learning from the Wise and Kind: We went to a Mosque (one of the largest in Africa). We climbed a tower to see the vast views of Kampala and learn about the royal palace religious temples and other major landmarks on the hills of Kampala. Since we went to the Mosque on the first day of Ramadan, I asked our tour guide (Fathemah) if we could join the service. This was my first time going to a Mosque, so I asked Fathemah to show me how to pray and I asked Fathema to read (sing) a passage of the Koran to me. A person approached Fathemah begging Fathema (who volunteers with an Islamic NGO giving food to villages in need) to donate to their village. Fathema later told me what she said to the person and told me about her NGO; Fathemah had told the person that she would have to present her need to the NGO so that they could get to know the community and establish trust. It was inspiring to hear about Fathemah’s work. The Mosque was gorgeous, the people were kind, and the experience was tranquil and uplifting.
Bending A Tree: We also went to my first Anglican Church, The Namirembe Cathedral Church of Uganda. There were several pastors of both sexes, traditional hymns to organ music, a brief sermon, communion, offering, and the best part – the church delivered mail to members without mailboxes. Unfortunately the beautiful cathedral was hidden behind a column during the service. Afterward, my friends and I sat in the grass and chatted; so many kind people came up to us and started up conversations. One such individual was James, the youth director. He was telling us of the importance of teaching children while they are young to be gracious followers of God because that is when the teachings will take root. He likened it to trying to bend a tree while it is young versus full grown. I thought that was an excellent metaphor.