Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Another party at Joseline’s, with a familiar refrain

Joseline called me up late last week to ask me over to lunch on Sunday at 1:00, which I happily accepted. I knew enough now to expect this not to be a tete-a-tete but a more raucous affair, which turned out to be the case.

It was a birthday party for three of the young women in Kings Daughters Ministries, and there must have been over 40 people there. We had a big African buffet for lunch and sat out in a circle in the yard as the chickens pecked around our feet for scraps. There were even party games of the most familiar sort: musical chairs, truth or dare (I chose dare and was asked to dance in front of everyone, causing a high degree of hilarity. Other dares included, “Climb that tree!” and “Do a somersault,” all of which people refused to do. I protested, but to no avail). We also had a cake and I got the tiny piece to which I'm growing accustomed.

Joseline sat to my right (I love this picture), and to my left I talked with a young woman named Ritha, a seventeen-year-old secondary school student who wants to study in the U.S. In Ohio, specifically. I warned her it was cold there. She wasn’t sure she would like that, so she asked about Minnesota.

She also talked about church. She’s been an altar girl at the (Anglican) cathedral in Namirembe, but she’s started going to the Pentecostal church because the cathedral is just so boring and dry. She likes the Pentecostal church because there are so many more people her age and because people actually move and dance there. Yeah, I’ve heard that tale before. I can’t say I’ve heard that many teens talking about their father’s multiple wives before, but the whole “Church is boring” thing—that was very familiar.

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