Thump, thump, thumpidy, tump. The drummers they drummed away. People were singing and dancing; praying and prancing all throughout the day.
How loud will they sing? How long will they dance, thought I from my desk chair. I can’t hear myself think, I can’t do any work, I said as I pulled my hair.
You see FRA, it borders a church, and the prayers prey all day long. It could be Tuesday at 10 or Thursday at 3, these people are singing a song!
How different this is from Canada thought I, up North people seldom peep. No spirit or chatter or worship for that matter; so quiet mice dare not creep.
But here in Uganda, things are different, both in good ways and in bad. In fact, drumming, singing, preying, and dancing are all that some people have.
When I say “some people”, I really mean some; Uganda‘s not as poor as you think. Rolling hills, lush and green, the Nile and the Queen, its beauty more than eyes can drink.
When people think rich, they miss the real pitch; all they see is big money and wealth. But you can’t by Ubuntu or kindness or love, although in some countries you can buy good health.
Buy good health did you say? Isn’t health a human right? Canadian children don’t fear malaria every night.
So are there other human rights that money can buy? Sanitation, water, food security, the list goes on; me oh my.
But where does it start and where does it end? Uganda’s inability to afford human rights has become a bit of a trend.
Some attribute it to corruption, other say that its disease. But the fact still remains, rights are more than just needs.
Because your needs can concede, but rights can’t be taken away; a right is a right, inalienable, and a government shouldn’t have a say.
The thing about rights, they’re all linked, you can tell. If you take away maternal health (cough, Harper), you lose food security as well.
Maternal health and food security? Where’s the common denominator in that? Well just look at the literature, read text book, hit the library, or maybe examine some stats.
Women produce the world’s food and all the people that eat it, so without maternal health policies, well we might as well beat it.
See, human rights affect everyone, I mean everyone, rich or poor. What other rights are linked together, shall we explore a few more?
What about the right to freedom, for instance, or as some call it liberty. That right is a good one, so good it makes me jittery.
Oh freedom, freedom, freedom, you are the root of all rights. Pretty popular in America (F*** YEAH!), those Yankees, they sure fight.
But what about the places where freedom’s not a given? Where you are not free to be free, or even practice your own religion.
You see without the root that’s freedom, all other rights cease to exist. Amartya Sen wrote a book on it, Development as Freedom, I think you get the gist.
So once we have freedom, then what rights come next? The right to life, liberty, or happiness? What about the right to do your best?
I think the tricky thing about rights is we assign them an order. We give them a hierarchy, make some important, while some stay on the border.
And all the while is it right, to make some rights righter than others? After all, rights are linked, so without one we’d lose our druthers.
Yes freedom is important, very important, it’s our root. But that does not mean that other rights should fear getting the boot.
Because remember without food, us humans, we cannot eat. So without the right to nutrition, freedom lies dead all over the street.
Well, do you hear me now, do you get what I am preaching? Rights aren’t a ladder or a line; they’re a circle, interdependent, no breaching.
You see circles are really great because there’s no start and there’s no end. Everything is interconnected, all rights equal, they get to be friends!
Okay enough about rights; it is time to explore a new theme. Did you know that tomorrow is Martyr’s Day? A holiday to redeem.
Ugandan’s travel from far and wide to celebrate this special day. If Chaucer knew about all these pilgrims, he would probably shout, “hooray!”
But as a non-Ugandan citizen what does this Day mean to me? A day off work, some time to play, go to the beach, maybe climb a tree?
Yes I may do those things on Martyr’s day, but as a ‘learner’ I must remember; this Day is special, near and dear, in this country where I’m a member.
So while I adventure at Entebbe beach, until the day turns into night; Ugandan Martyrs will be on my mind, although they are out of sight.
What else is on my mind during Uganda’s holiday in June? My friends, my family, my swim team, I guess I’ll see you soon.
But until that day comes, don’t fret, don’t frown, don’t sigh; I am happy down here in Uganda, my fellow Scholars help me get by.
Plus, the work I do with Food Rights Alliance is wicked-awesome cool – and when I’m not working at FRA, the Seals work me in the pool.
It is funny how things can be familiar, but at the same time oh so foreign. Eat, sleep, work, go to practice, come home, and then eat some corn.
The only real difference my location, I’m in the ‘global South’; and Uganda’s not so bad; don’t judge a country by word of mouth.
So now I sit here writing this entry, nice and comfy in my chair. Rachel and Shelby right beside me, Grecko too, I better beware.
Shit he’s getting away again; I better wrap this up for now. Hope you liked it, if you didn’t, then please don’t have a cow.
p.s. I know the stanzas are different, the syllables they’re all amuck; the rhythm is off, I get it, I know, but frankly I don’t give a… crap.