There are not many reasons to dress up really in nice party dresses and go out. Actually, my housemate and I daily do our part to fight the stereotype of the ‘missionary look’. So when the occasion arises to get all dolled up- high heels and everything- it is hard to say no. Last month was a fundraising event celebrating local women of the eastern region of Uganda that had made a difference in Mbale and the surrounding area.
Waltzing into one of the two fancy hotels in Mbale, our group of Mzungus was lookin’ good! After enjoying perusing some booths that were set up, all the guests were invited into the tent. We found our reserved table (donned with the ‘Mbale Mzungus’ table marker- awesome!). The night proceeded with a live jazz band, dinner, and an awards ceremony. But the highlight of the night was the fashion show of local ‘kitange’ pieces. The ladies modelling the clothes were very serious and focused, whereas the men hammed up the whole thing with funny expressions and great spin-around moves to assure the audience had a good look at their fashion.
Overall it was a fun night with friends and a great excuse to wear the dress that has been sitting in my closet the past year awaiting the right opportunity to make its grand reveal.
Unfortunately the fancy dresses have nothing to do with the other half of the title- pick up lines. But this story is worth telling.
We have found a great weekend getaway in Jinja. Being only 2 hours away, right on the Nile River, and only $7-15 a night, depending on your choice of dorm or private tent with a bed and a patio, it is the ideal spot to take visitors before they depart Uganda. But as with most backpacker places, there are often some interesting characters around, especially at night after they have had a few drinks. But they are also good for a laugh as we ‘people watch’ from the tables on the patio of the restaurant.
But there is one infamous weekend that provided more laughs than the rest. First there was our friend ‘Pudge’. That was really his name, or at least what his friends called him. We watched him wander around the bar all evening looking for his shoes- which proved to be comical as he would awkwardly bend over very near people searching for his shoes. During one point of the night, after he had already approached Allison and I twice to ask if we had seen his shoes, he approached a third time. This time he sat down and said with great emphasis, ‘You girls are... LEGENDARY!’ Ha.
But the best moment was Saturday night when many of the white water rafters were back from a great day on the Grade 5 rapids. Many people were dancing and chatting, so we sat on the side wall for a different perspective on that night’s ‘people watching’ event. There was a group of Indian guys that enjoying dancing (without the influence of alcohol added) near where we were seated. All of a sudden one points down at the bottom of wall and shouts, ‘snake!’. Surrounded by loud music, I didn’t clearly hear what he said. Plus I was sitting on the wall with my feet on the bench in front of me. Then he pointed and said it again. Siobhan, who was standing, quickly cleared the area, but I looked down to see where it was. Though seeing nothing, Allison and I quickly vacated the area after he pointed and warned of the snake he was seeing a third time. Once we were away from the wall and closer to him and his group he said, ‘Yeah! Now we dance,’ with his hands in the air. The line was too good. How could we say no? Actually they were really nice guys and taught us a traditional Indian dance they usually do at parties.
So that is the end of these two lovely stories. Hope you enjoyed.
Also, below is a picture of us in our fancy Easter ‘kitange’s’.