Wednesday, December 15, 2010

An Afternoon with Nagawa Grace

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with Nagawa Grace, one of the women who works for One Mango Tree, and her family. I was able to instantaneously see the positive effects that her work at One Mango Tree was able to bring to the community. Her confidence, and the way she interacts with her children, exudes such a nature of security and strength that I know the entire neighborhood can feel.

Her compound is right near ours so we walked over in the afternoon and stayed until it got dark. Lauranne had taught her Skip-Bo earlier in the day and when we came over she was still playing! We were able to walk around the compound and meet all of her family and neighbors. Some women were pumping water, others washing, others cooking. We went and talked to the men who were resting from harvesting the G-nuts (African peanuts) for a few minutes and they engaged us in a very philosophical talk about America and why it’s extremely important for them to go there.

After a while we settled onto some mats on the grassy highland and began endless rounds of Skip-Bo. More and more people joined each round. Others came and sat near-by with cards and played also. Sitting with us was a family of 5 grown sisters. They were all so beautiful and full of life and hysterical. The Acholi people love to be silly and love it when you are silly too. They love for you to dance and joke and make a fool out of yourself. They call it being “stubborn”.  As the sun went down our night came to a forced end but we were sad to leave. Some of the teenage boys walked us back to our house on their way to watch the football game at a local place. We waved goodbye with promise of spending time together again soon.

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