We are eating lunch at the moment - I am across the room from the team who sounds very happy but very, very tired. We will leave shortly to travel to Mbarrara this afternoon. Everyone is looking forward to taking a nap in the van on the way. We awoke at 5:45am to reach the Kampala market by 6:30am to shop for handcrafts with Generous. We were at the market for about 2 hours. Lots of bargaining and carrying things back and forth to the van. We didn't find many baskets at the Kampala market this morning so Christopher took us to Buganda Road market which was nice but more expensive. I got more baskets and others had time t shop for gifts for family and friends!
It will take us about 4 hours to reach Mbarrara but we will stop along the way when we cross the Equator. There will be picture-taking and watching the water drain in opposite directions on either side of the demarcation line. We will be spending the night in Mbarrara. In the morning, we will leave for another village on the way to Kabale. There we will witness something we are very excited about: okuhingira (oh coo hin jeer a) the giving-away ceremony of the bride to the groom. This is the third and final ceremony in the process of a traditional village wedding. There will be gift giving from the bride's family to the groom. This exemplifies what a fine girl she is and the good family she comes from. The second party is gift giving from groom to bride which used to be known as the bride price. Generous has prepared special clothing for us to wear. Dale and I will be in gomesi - traditional dresses with wide cumberbands. Ashley and Holly will be wearing something different and Bill will most likely be in his own clothes! This should be a real treat! We are all looking forward to this. It should last several hours. From there, we will move along toward Kabale but stop in another village to have supper with Lydia Komugisha and her family. Lydia is an ACT-Muko board member and a trained social worker.
We have nearly forgotten that it's New Year's Eve here. We pray all of you have a most Happy New Year and appreciate your prayers!