Yesterday I proved two significant things to quite a few Ugandans…
1.) White people can work hard.
2.) White people can dance!
I wanted so badly to help Mama with her catering job on Saturday, so she let me. Even though she and her crew began Friday morning and worked all through the night, I joined her at 1 pm on Saturday. I worked cutting food, moving heavy items, setting up tables, etc. And since we were cooking in the backyard of where the introduction was, I could hear the music and just lovvveeddd moving to the beat, just like the rest of the Ugandans.
Junea, another “adopted” brother, stayed at the house Friday evening to keep me company because eno one was home except for little Mark and the electricity was out. Kind of freaky. We had a good time talking, though, and David eventually came too. They’re both so funny. I really appreciated them staying around the house while it was pitch black. I don’t like the dark.
Junea left to go help Mama and I told him I was coming to help the next day. Remarks from various Ugandans about my intention to work kind of upset me. My sister Jenniffer told me I wouldn’t be able to stand that long. Junea kept asking me if I was too tired or feeling okay. Even Mama kept asking me if I needed a break. Good grief. Do they think we Americans don’t have any stamina at all? We are not that pathetic.
I am hardworking and let everyone see that yesterday. Junea remarked how I was actually sweating, and I think he was impressed by the heavy items I could carry. (Thanks to my Clear Channel job for that). I just looked him right in the eye and said, “Mzungus are not weak, Junea.” He told me many Ugandans think Americans have hired help for physicial labor, which I told him is pretty darn rare. No, I don’t think Americans do as much physical labor as Ugandans, due to technology. But heck, we’re not lazy. Once again, thank you to Hollywood for producing that conception worldwide that normal Americans like me have to fight when we arrive in foreign countries in real life.
I also served food to all the guests and did pretty well for my first time! No complaints.
Evene though I had to leave before the official dance party at the end (which truly bummed me out), I got to dance around that whole afternoon while working.
I felt like an African yesterday, truly integrated into culture. It was grand.
My family even acknowledged my hard work and ability to dance. It’s those two things that made me feel like I didn’t stand out as much. What a day!