Return to Kampala
Greetings, everyone. I'm back in Uganda after a month with my reigious community, and with family and friends. I attended the inauguration of President Obama. While I probably saw less than most of you, sitting with a crowd of about 500,000 in my section, and probably 3 or 4 times that number in the Mall was an unforgetable experience -- a 'first' for me. There were moments of absolute silence while we waited for Obama to appear, and then -- a roar like none I've ever heard.
School of Diplomacy Gets Started
Over Christmas, the candidate designated to be director of the proposed School of Diplomacy resigned. I was asked to assume the job until an appropriate candidate might be chosen. So, I am energetically putting the pieces together for this EAST AFRICA SCHOOL OF DIPLOMACY. I have a lovely office, I just hired an administrative assistant, and we're good to go. My next entry will be on the progress and challenges of this exciting project
So, you might have wondered about this reference to the movie "Motorcycle Diaries". That was the name of the boat that the members of the leper colony gave as a birthday gift to the young Che Guevara when he was a medical intern there in the 1950s. Dave Burrell, Fred Jenga and I went on Sunday to a special Mass for all the religious of the Kampala diocese. The music was unusually jolly and participatory. The music was provided by a religious community (Missionary Brothers of the Poor) from Jamaica (!) Words fail me to appropriately describe this ceremony, and my memory may be a bit blotchy. However, the choir, with a battery of drums, flutes, guitars, trumpets, and various strange-sounding percussion pieces sang many songs. One such son was to Mary (Hey, hey, helloooow Queen, Our Mother, Hellowww Queeen, Virgin Queen, Jewish Mother, Yeah, You're our Queen, hummm, hummm, hummm repeated 3 times, each time on a higher pitch- - or something like that. I knew we were in for a surprise when the Rastafarian drummer sauntered up to the altar to light his Kasta Colored Ice Bong. Except that the candles were ... electric! So, he returned to his Rast chants, swinging his Bob Marley dredlocks. Well, Trinidad calypso and reggae may not be dub music, but it swings nicely with an African jungle beat.
After the ceremony, we were invited to sit under the Cardinal's tent and join him for a meal. We were hungry, but some guy gave us a long, religious talk, mostly nonsense for 40 minutes. One of the waiters was sitting nearby with his legs and eyes crossed and I saw him finally take out a small pipe and light it under the table. Well, the food was ok, and there was a lot of laughter...