Big Man

November 27, 2015:

Can I really describe the craziness of this week?

On Monday, the CNN crew came back to our home to video me working with the Ik guys on the dictionary. Just as their vehicle crested the hill, a helicopter camera drone appeared over our heads. It descended to about fifty feet and hovered right over me. At first I assumed it was from Museveni’s [President of Uganda] security forces come to do recon before the arrival of the Big Man. But then CNN arrived, and we figured out the drone was in fact theirs…

That evening we got news that Museveni’s visit to Ikland [where we lived] had been moved up from 4:00 p.m on Tuesday to 10:00 a.m [to confound any plans of foul play]. That meant, for us, that instead of having nearly a whole day to get ready, we had just Monday evening…

Tuesday morning, Kamion was abuzz with activity and awash in yellow, the color of Museveni’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) party (thanks largely to the 980 t-shirts that had been given out!). There were soldiers all over, even in the hills surrounding Kamion. They had security zipped up!

We settled in some shade to wait. And wait we did…all the way to 2:00 p.m when the Big Man finally showed up in his battle-clad helicopter. Museveni gave a very short and not too memorable speech, as did Janet [the First Lady], followed by some breathtaking brown-nosing by local politicians. Then the President walked over to our tent and shook hands with some guests, including us and the girls. He asked us where we were from and thanked us for ‘caring for these children’. And then it was over, and he left. We too left for Kaabong, very content: mission to meet the President accomplished! Sadly we didn’t get to meet the First Lady, but she was eyeing us curiously.

 

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