Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The Ugandans Dance Relaxation

Uganda's Ndere Centre Dance Troupe

Even before I’d departed Canada I had heard people mention things about Africa. A kind of magic. The ways things unfold. Or not. The African way.
At Mengo Hospital I share Jjaajja Qwen’s Guest House with six other people. Most from Vancouver Island, my room mate from Toronto. We’re all here to help. Where we can.
Martha (Victoria) and Jennifer (Toronto) spent the day helping out at the Sanyu Babies Home, near the border of Mengo. An orphanage. The babies survive for adoption. One such toddler, Watson lives with lazy eyes. He’s cross-eyed.
Jennifer came home with concern. The chances of adoption drop with some health challenges. She approached "Dr. Jim" with the question. “How much would it cost to fix the eyes?”
She’d raised some money back home before she left and wanted to put it to a deserving cause. Helping Watson struck her soul.
"Dr. Jim" outlined the scenario. She contemplated the challenge.
We’d decided early on we would all head out to the Ndere Centre for a truly Ugandan Cultural experience. A buffet dinner with live dance performances.
As we gather roadside for our driver pick-up Martha shrieks out in delight. Up the hill walks a German associate of Mengo whom she’d met on last year’s visit. She’s a doctor. An eye specialist.
I turn to "Dr. Jim" with a smile.
“That’s Africa,” he replies rolling his eyes.
Jennifer was thrilled. The specialist only had three days at Mengo. Watson would see her the next day.
The drive to the Ndere Centre saw cows in the middle of roundabouts, a lot of slum-like lean-tos with goats running through ditches and children playing naked.
The performance highlighted dance. With a twist. A poke at the Ugandan culture versus the “developed countries.”
“You have watches. Here we have time,” remarked the host.
The costumes of the Ndere Centre dancers!
Then he illustrated it. The tension doesn’t start in the head he claimed, rather in the butt – which he also referred to as the “sitting facility.” We watched the walk. Cool, calm and relaxed.
“Developed countries don’t have relaxation,” he states with a smirk.
I’ve since been practicing the walk.
Relax the buttocks and the head will follow. That's also the African way.


Amy said...

LOVE those colorful outfits on the dancers. I'm enjoying reading your blog!

A Fresh Thinker said...

Incredible dancers too. I tried the dance with them. Thought I was in good shape... HA! They are incredible especially when you try and do what they did. I've got some video but will have to post when I have more bandwidth to load. Thanks for reading!