Preparing for Little Norman’s Christening

Tomorrow is a very special day for Innocent, Betty and most of all Norman. There is to be a Thanksgiving Mass here at their home to Baptise Norman and to give thanks for their home. Innocent also wants this to be a family reunion and between 50 and 100 people are expected! They are travelling from far and wide just to attend this special day.

Plans have gradually been put into place this week first of all with visits to the Priest who was delighted to do this for Innocent as he plays a big part in church life, in particular the youth side and is head of the Youth Choir.

Yesterday the real work started hunting down food and I will let the photos tell the story.

Thank goodness for my friend Godfrey’s pick-up up as we have collected a tent and poles, one hundred chairs and the same onumber of plates. No need for cutlery in Uganda, though I shall probably sneak into the house for a fork as I always make such a mess using fingers only as it’s a full cooked meal!

Innocent and John Baptist have designed the order of service, and guess who got roped into typing it all out? ‘Please Mum G as you’re faster typing than me’ says Innocent! John read out some of the hymns for me to type but much of it is in Luganda so I had to read it carefully as I was typing. My touch typing skills came back quite well I’m pleased to say. Mind you it has been checked and mistakes found several times with the Luganda! The service will last at least an hour and a half so I hope I can keep awake as much of it is in Luganda.

Tonight an extra pair of hands arrived and all the ladies have been sat outside peeling mounds of matoki, a savoury banana which is the basis of every meal in Uganda.

Everyone will be up at 6 tomorrow morning to start the cooking – 15 kg of rice, 10 kg of beef, 5 kg of pork plus ‘soup’ a thin gravy made with the meat and vegetable juices.

Very early, before dawn I was woken by the smoke coming through my window (no glass to shut it out), and the hustle and bustle of the family preparing for today’s event. I didn’t rush up as I’m not adequately ‘qualified’ for most jobs being only a Mzungu!

Suddenly there was lots of excitement around, even more than it was anyway. The boys started pulling the brown dead banana fronds off the trees and rushing too and fro. Not a good idea when the flames from the fires are being whipped up by the wind but danger or caution don’t seem to be in the Ugandan language! Anyway the reason is..…

It’s soooo hot here and with several fires burning I’m sweating like the poor pig must have felt when he knew his time was up!

I went ‘off air’ for an hour as I needed to rest as it’s so hot here and there’s a long day ahead yet. I hate to miss anything (except Piggy being slaughtered!) but I know I will flag later if I don’t be sensible.  So I came into the relative cool of my room to lie down. I think I can hear lots more people arriving so lots of hands to shake when I eventually appear again in my ‘party dress’!

It’s been a hectic but brilliant day and it’s now pouring so I’m sat with many others in the tent enjoying the African music as water builds up on the tent roof in big puddles. I’m waiting for it to suddenly ‘go’ then I won’t need to bathe tonight!!

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