Yesterday, when our group arrived at an orphanage/primary school near Masaka, Uganda, the students flooded out of their classrooms and regular school was eventually canceled.
A friend and I had come to repair (or fix) some of the playground equipment at the school. Others in our group were assigned other tasks including surveying the needs at the orphanage. The list of needs is long.
We started by making repairs to the seesaw (teeter totter) we had installed in February. A handle had broken off. We found a new one and attached it. Hopefully this time we will have a more permanent installation. Then we moved on to the swing set. We replaced 2 seats and added an 8th seat. Our repair work (plus a trip to Masaka to order another seesaw) took all morning and part of the afternoon.
After we had finished our repair work, we hiked back toward the school classrooms. In the largest, we could hear disco-type music blasting out. Inside, were students (many orphans) wildly dancing and in the middle were the Utah women we were traveling and working with. It was wild mass of humanity. Despite the high temperature and humidity, everyone was having great time dancing. I retired to a corner of the discoteque to watch the children.
Several children eventually joined me. Each asking me to dance. But I could only dance for a few minutes at a time. I was tired from work, sunburned, and the heat and humidity were oppressive. But it was great to see the elementary school children and the Utahns (including 3 students from USU) having such a good time. The kids sitting with me grabbed my hands and helped me watch the dancing. The Utahns and the Ugandan kids were all so fluid with their dance steps, that I for a moment wished I was 40-years younger.
One of the students sitting next to me and holding on tightly to my hand . . . “adopted” me and didn’t leave my side for the remainder of the afternoon. She is 12-years-old and adorable. I wish I could do more to help. It was truly an afternoon to remember . . . disco dancing at a orphanage in southern Uganda. How many people can say that they have done that?