Tag Archives: social

Party marathon. ( my sort.)

Oh what a weekend.

I ruined a perfectly pretty pedicure by wearing closed shoes and dancing up a storm. I think at one point I may have stepped on a dog and caused a dog fight.  The night was gentle and starry at first, the martinis flowed, the food arrived, the music got higher and things became rather interesting. There were silent dialogues flowing above our heads and beneath the table all evening long; there was verbal sparring easily confused with foreplay, there were tears, recriminations, flirting and dirty dancing. Oh what a night.

The next day beckoned and with it a BBQ. Characters were tossed and delivered into a beautiful garden overlooking the city. If you tilted your body to the left next to one of their trees you could even see the lake. I met new comers to Kampala, people who were leaving, old timers who had seen it all; I met travellers, actors, the beautiful and the dammed. Food was divine, so was the wine and without a glance at a watch a midday lunch ended at 10pm. There was gentle chat, laughter and garden games. Then stolen cigarettes and cocktails as it grew dark; it was a very happy day.

Sunday and our stamina looked weak. We were operating on less hours of sleep than we needed and through our veins flowed more wine than blood, but we did it again. Another BBQ, this one more tame but a social activity never-the- less that was celebrating the achievements of one friend. It was a totally different crowd, no scary unspoken drama, just a lovely dinner.

Coming back to school feels like a rest.

Next weekend? Surprise birthday party for one 13 year old.

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facebook is weird

Facebook is weird. I know what an old school friend, someone I haven’t seen for 20 years had for breakfast and I have seen the wedding photos of an old work colleague that I imagined I would never see again. I have been sent a friend suggestion that makes me laugh. She was the girl who bullied me at school a life time ago. Do I want to be her friend? Just to know what she is doing somewhere out there in middle America? More importantly do I want her to know what I am doing?

On the flip side I have reconnected with an old school teacher, the most inspiring teacher I ever had, someone who impacts my teaching style every day. I have found a long lost friend that I searched ages for and now we will meet up this summer and exchange memories. I can read the evening plans of two of my old students, I even know what film they are planning on seeing tonight, but does it all really mean anything?  I now have these superficial connections to people that are not really in my life, albeit by a sliver through a computer screen. The people I really want to see, and hug and hold are not living in my white laptop, they are living in my mind, my past and hopefully my future.

Facebook has now overtaken google as the most viewed online search engine. To use a Trini term it is the ultimate “Maco” tool, meaning we can spy on one another and be misled that we know what we are all doing. It presents a warped truth, but one that satisfies some of our curious inclinations. Through Facebook I can see what my daughter’s status is and then berate her for spreading her private life throughout the cyber world. These are things I probably shouldn’t know and yet I keep logging in, coming back for more, looking, as I scroll through the names, for connections, knowledge of what people out there are doing today. It makes the world so small when in many other ways it just feels too big.

Those of us who live so far away, across oceans and continents, shops, markets and deserts, need to feel the world is small.

I just purchased my airline tickets to London this summer and judging by the price of those tickets the world is quite enormous. Instead of looking into my screen to hunt for shiny things and old friends I will have it laid out on a concrete pavement for my delectation and choice. For three weeks I will spend my days in London town, soaking up the culture, the dust, not from red pounded roads, but from smog and the frayed, chipped ancient paint from antique buildings. I will revel, spin and worship at the alter of the Great Shiny West.

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Sunshine blinding, boys hopping and dinner invites.

It has been an up and down and all around sort of week.  I have felt displaced, tired and mildly overwhelmed by the work I have thrown at myself. As part of the yearbook committee I have undertaken to photograph each and every student and class in the school. That is 500 kids. I cannot abide by a bad photograph and cannot sit by and let the yearbook look like a cheap piece of pulp, so I have adopted that small cause. In addition, as part of an effort to increase school spirit I have put together a “Spirit Board” where all achievements will be celebrated. So far there is one shiny fabulous posting on the board, a photograph of a student of mine who recently represented Uganda in the Sub Saharan Swimming games and came home with a bronze. On the inverse side of this celebratory board is a Wall of Shame that I have created on my white board. Exasperated with the number of students who have repeatedly failed to hand in homework, I have turned to public humiliation as a worthwhile deterrent. I think it might be working, at least, many have expressed fear at the thought of their names up there for all to see.

The highlight of my school week was the solar eclipse this morning. Between 7.45am and 8.45am a group of students, parents and teachers stood outside the school to peer through slivers of x-rays at the extraordinary sight before us. Despite not looking directly at the sun, I still spent the rest of the morning and much of the day with a strange pain behind my eyes. It was my first solar eclipse and followed nicely on the footsteps of the New Year’s eve lunar eclipse that helped bid farewell to 2009. The best thing about this morning’s eclipse was the changing light and shadows on the faces of the people watching. The light went from blinding bright to dramatically dim in a few moments. I felt like a tiny ant of the surface of a beach ball.

Shocking news at the social front is that I went out two evenings this week. Even Princess and Trooper looked at us aghast and said “ You are going out again!?!”

Yes we did. Twice, for dinner, with perfectly lovely people. The first evening was spent in a house with a garden the size of a football field, so big in fact that there was plenty of space to grow the salad that we ate as a first course. I came home to my box and sulked. The second evening was spent with 8 people cheerfully squeezed into a house smaller than mine, where wine and good food was served and enjoyed and I came home inspired.

Now with the weekend beckoning with open arms I am hoping to recharge some of those teaching batteries. Only week two and I am losing patience with the throng of puberty. The boys have been literally nuts all week, unable to stop moving. They have either got ants in their pants or they have just realized what else lives in there.

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