07 August 2009

> Farwell Jones >> Farwell Kayonza

I don't have a lot of time to write now (I'm hoping to write some new posts on the long bus rides we're expecting on our way South), so here's just a few pictures to tide you over until then.

In the last week before leaving my site I had two major parties. One was a bit more formal and put together by the teachers, PTA, and SMC (School Management Committee). With a number of speeches, some music, and a feast afterwards I felt very filled up by all of the wonderful thanks that I had received.

Official Farwell Party

This looks like the more serious section of my speech which Yeko was nice enough to help me translate.

Arthur (my official counterpart), myself, and student-teacher Everlyne looking smart.

This is me being congratulated by Madame Nampa (the new "principal" at my school). As a going away gift they had bought me a very nice suit and were overjoyed to see me "put on" and looking so smart. As you may notice from mine and a few other suits, Ugandans tend to prefer oversized suits, don't worry that I've gotten smaller over here.

On my very last night in Kayonza I decided to make a smaller, informal party featuring Hamburgers and a big gift exchange. Both were thoroughly enjoyed by myself and Ugandans. It turned out to be an excellent way to distribute the miscellanea of my taken-apart household and also send one last big thank you to a community that has welcomed and "kept" me so well over these last two years.

Informal Going Away/Hamburger/Give Away Everything in Ryan's House Party

Here (right to left) Maama1 Gobi, Maama Joann, Betty, and Annet bite down and enjoy the all-american, hand-held icon of deliciousness that is the hamburger (or as is often echoed "hamburg"). I was really glad I could cook for these ladies, because the two on the right served me quick, cheap, and delicious meals on about every other day at the local restaurant in town. Betty was a similarly amazing (although somewhat procrastinative) tailor who helped me make my two Halloween costumes as well as adjustments and what what.

Wasswa showing off his haul of jerry cans, cups, and bath towel. Afterwards, Yeko and Wasswa said that they enjoyed the idea of a gift exchange so much that they would try to do it again at the end of the year party.

All the smiling children's faces who I'll miss seeing every day.

Hope you are all well and looking forward to seeing you soon. I'll be off on my travelling adventure soon, and with luck will keep you all updated.

Stay Well,
Jones (or Ryan, but sadly no longer Migadde)

1 - An interesting albeit difficult-to-understand-by-Americans custom is that mothers are very often called by their children's names with the prefix of Maama. To translate, you would see my mom on the street and try to get here attention with "Oh, Momma Ryan! Momma Ryan!" Wasswa has even told me a story where he called a parent by her name and she said he had bad manners. When he asked what she would like to be called she responded with "Maama Rechel." People are proud of parenthood, and it's quite the truth that I don't know these ladies' real names. I find that sad, but I don't think they do.