Today’s activity involved attending the AH Junior School Graduation day and end of school celebration. As with most things African, apparently time is not the most important factor. Its about the event. I must say this is starting to frustrate me a little. Ainsley did warn us about this, but it does feel very much like an excuse for disorganisation and lack of preparation. I think I annoyed some people today when I suggested that if we set a time and got to places earlier we would have more time for the ‘event’. It has happened a few days now where we get out of bed early to ensure arrival at the AH office by an agreed time only to sit and wait while things are sorted out or for people to arrive. I’m really not good at all with all this waiting and time wasting. I like to get in, get out and get done.
Anyhow, as we were guests of honour at the School graduation we were not allowed to be early or even on time. We had to be late. The time we had set to be there was 11.00am with a meal at 3.00pm. I had ensured I had brought some extra food to get me through from breakfast till then. We arrived at our rendezvous point at 10.00am and waited till about 12.00pm before making our way to the school. It was a great occasion and Ugandans take seriously the progression from Kindergarten to Primary and from Primary to the next level. It is celebrated in the same way we celebrate graduating from University – complete with black robes and hats. It was a special occasion. Something I should also mention about Ugandans, they like their music. There are 2 volume levels – off and distorted! Music is not loud enough until it distorts, and then apparently it sounds great. And it was the same here. Boy, did I have a headache when we were done.
Each class or year had some sort of dance or show to put on for us. I have seen a lot of African dancing over the past week so unfortunately I found another 3-4 hours more of it a little hard to take, but none the less, there was some great talent on show. One item I did find fascinating was a skit explaining the need for parents to feed their girls as well as their boys so they can do well at school and one day become good mothers or even a doctor. I laughed inside when I thought about some of the cultural habits they have that created the need for a Graduation skit to make this point, and I wondered how this may have gone down with the locals. Not that it was obvious that the girls were undernourished mind you. We were done at about 6.30pm. They had gone right on past the 3.00pm target for a meal, because we were all enjoying things so much. I remembered, It’s not about the time, it’s about the event. Shame my stomach didn’t seem to understand this.