Road to Uganda: Good Friends and Good Food

Dubai was wonderful for all of twenty hours, where I enjoyed the hospitality of a couple of fellow Luther College alumni. Thanks for a soulful stay, Adam and Allison! They took me to this swanky beach bar to stretch my legs from the long plane ride and drink a beer:

What can I say about Dubai?  It’s the next big thing on this side of the globe, and it’s getting bigger every day.

Despite the lack of sleep resulting from three days of on-again-off-again travel, the African landscape had me feeling really good as soon as we departed from the airport.

Thanks!  Think I’ll stay a while…My ssenga (father’s sister*) picked me up from the airport.  She’s a nun who works at a school in Entebbe.  She took me back to the convent, gave me a much-needed place to bathe, and fed me a delicious first taste of Ugandan deliciousness: ekyenyanja.  Yum.

Ssenga Nakato (Auntie Nakato) and I then drove toward Kampala to meet up with Taata wange (my [Ugandan] Dad], Mwami Magoba Waalabyeeki.  We picked him up from his job at CBS, which is the Central Broadcasting Service, Buganda kingdom’s main outlet for Luganda vernacular news and entertainment in both broadcast and print media.  By the time we got back to Mwami Magoba’s place, it was about 9:15 or 9:30: time for supper!  Warm greetings preceded a feast prepared by the gracious Ugandan host family I have come to love.  They prepared a very special luwombo.

Luwombo is the thing on the left there.  On the right, there’s matooke (banana mash) with binyeebwa (peanut sauce), squash, rice, posho, greens, potatoes, etc. Luwombo is like a little crockpot made of banana leaves.

In this shot, mwannyinaze (sister/cousin) Anna ajjula–she’s uncovering the luwombo:

I gave Mwami ne Mukyala Magoba (Mr. and Mrs. Magoba) some small gifts after dinner.  Mr. Magoba is a writer, so he got this book for jotting ideas:

Jenn was kind enough to get a gift together for Mrs. Magoba. Here she is in her new necklace:

For the others, I had to find something light weight that would go over well with the whole clan (literally).  They enjoyed some fresh dates from Dubai.  Dad, if you’re reading this, remind me to get you some on the way back through there:

Finally, I must thank Settimba Charles Lwanga (pictured here sporting his daily sleeveless swagger).  He’s the household-appointed “Ghetto Prezident.”  There’s an artist here called Bobbi Wine who has dubbed himself in similar fashion, but I doubt his good humor and hospitality can compare with that of Settimba and the rest of the Ffumbe clan.

*Nota bene: Throughout this blog, I use Kiganda terms for kinship to refer to those who have made me part of their family here. This helps me keep track of kin relationships and how they work in Uganda. For you, dear readers, I will try to use the English terms in parentheses as I have here.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Road to Uganda: Good Friends and Good Food

  1. Sally

    I love that you use the Kiganda terms throughout your posts; though I’m probably pronouncing them wrong in my head…

  2. artclecticacademic

    Glad you mentioned it, Sally. Most terms in Luganda can be pronounced phonetically. However, as a basic rule, the letter K often changes to “ch” as in Charlie. So “Kiganda” (which I think I might have used improperly in the n.b. above) comes out sounding like “Chiganda.”

  3. Betsy Calhoun

    Peter, I got your email and forwarded it to the choirs and staff. As you directed, I’m writing on your blog. Love the food pictures and explanations–fascinating. And you sound very happy. Jenn is doing well–hope to get with her soon to chat and visit. We miss you and honestly the men do not sound as good. Your warm and resonant tone helped to blend the other voices. I’m saving you your space! Love you lots. Betsy

  4. artclecticacademic

    I’m finding reasons to be happy, even this far away from Jenn and other loved ones. The men of St. John’s sounded good when I showed up there, and I’m sure they’ll sound good when I get back. Thanks to you and the entire choir for keeping that space!

  5. Tom

    Yeah, I’m hungry now. And I just finished eating!

  6. musaazi felix

    hi this is what i really want. if any lady would be able to prepare for me luwombo every day . i wouldn’t mind marring her a million times coz luwombo means love. by the time one prepares for you luwombo it means they really love you. thanks keeping these kiganda cultures alive

  7. Genza K. Henry-Ladder

    Mwami Kigozi musajja wa Kabaka webale emirimu. okyali mu Uganda oba wadayoda? wambulako nga tuli ku Ssezibwa. nakusubwanyo, naye nange jendi eno. webalinyo okwagala Uganda, webalenyo okwagala Buganda.

    • Kale Mwami Genza, naawe weebale kumpandiikirako munnange. Awo Ssezibwa walungi nnyo, ate nasanyuka nnyo okubalabako.

      • Genza

        Mwami Kigozi webale kumpandikila, Nasanyusenyo. Wabula simanyi obanga okyali mu Uganda. Mbade nsaba okyalireko Olukiiko lwa Kabaka lwenkulembera. osobola okunfuna bulungi ku e-mail
        Webalenyo

  8. Hello, I ennjoy reading through your article. I like too write a little comment to support you.

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