Town and Nyakasura School, Mon July 7

Barbara and I went back into town, where Barbara continued her fabric odyssey for ekitambe (traditional ceremonial dress) and for dresses for special Africa-related occasions in the US. Here she's being measured. The seamstress did all the sewing work on a pedal-powered Singer machine of the kind I remember from my earliest childhood. Its sounds and oily mechanical smell were deeply familiar.

From town we went out to Nyakasura Secondary School on the northwest side of Fort Portal. The British "Commander" who founded the school is memorialized in the pictured statue. The school's name means "salt" - there are commercially important salt sources nearby. Richard Tooro's grandfather used to carry salt from this vicinity to Fort Portal to make his living.

We gathered all of the Kasiisi/AFROKAPS scholars who are at Nyakasura School. At the far right is a smiling Kukunda Martha - she's an exceptionally composed and serious girl who rarely smiles, but who becomes radiant when she does. That's Kiiza Rogers, Rich and Maggie's student, fourth from the right.

The estimable Kato Innocent of the Field Station drove us this day. He's an OB - an "Old Boy" - who graduated from Nyakasura, and went from there to Makerere University in Kampala, where he finished his degree in finance and accounting. He's third in command of operations at the Field Station. He has either 27 wives or 27 children; it was never quite clear which (or either).

Kato is the later-born of twins. His older sister twin died a few days after their birth. The Batooro people have very specific names for children in certain special circumstances including this one. As the male second-born of twins, Kato's name can only be Kato, which means exactly this birth situation (whether or not the sibling survives and regardless of the sibling's gender). Also, Kato's pet name can only be Abooki given his birth history. Here's Kato at the Tooro Rock outlook.

We stayed at the Mountains of the Moon hotel Monday night to get an early start on our travels Tuesday morning. We had dinner with Richard Tooro (Akiiki), Richard Ali Tumwine (Amooti), one of Amooti's cousin-brothers, and three young Scottish siblings travelling in their volunteer mother's footsteps.

Akiiki told us an African story about animal behaviors along Ugandan roads when taxis (matatus) pass. Cows always stand there obliviously, goats always run away as fast as they can, and dogs always chase these vehicles. But why? Well, it turns out that once upon a time all three of these creatures, who were friends at the time, rode in a matatu together. The cow reached her stop, paid the driver, and ambled away contentedly. The goat came to his stop, but he didn't pay - instead, he leaped out of the vehicle and ran away to avoid paying the tariff. The driver, furious, told the dog that he had to pay for the goat as well as for himself since he was the goat's friend. This aggravated the dog, but he had no choice else he'd be stranded along the side of the road. To this day the dog, still fuming, chases matatus angrily when they pass, while the goat continues to flee the driver's wrath, and the cow just stands and chews.

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