After the big game between Uganda and Canada, we went on a road trip to Lyantonde, about 200km south west of Kampala. It took us about 4-5 hours to travel that distance on the bumpy dirt roads in our little buses. The scenery was lush and beautiful, but everybody was exhausted from the game earlier that day. I gotta say our Canadian kids are troopers. The hot weather isn’t something they are used to, but never once did I hear any complaints. 

Once we got to Lyantonde, our first stop was Salama Shield, a NGO that focuses on alleviating health and poverty related challenges. I was absolutely exhausted, but my spirit got a big boost when I heard the beautiful songs and drum beats coming from the music group at Salama Shield. There was also a basketball court nearby. Jason the documentary cameraman and I couldn’t resist the idea of a tall lanky white dude and a short stubby asian dude playing street ball in Uganda, so we joined in for a pickup game with the local kids. That’s where I lost a piece of skin on my eyebrow… I think. I now have a big scar on my eyebrow, but it’s all good. I’d like to think it’s a permanent gift from Africa. 

I was really overwhelmed by the hospitality at Salama Shield. I know they don’t have much, but they still put on a big meal for us. While we ate, the drummers, dancers, and singers performed for us. I don’t know how other people could sit still. I couldn’t at all. I had to join in the dance. I am pretty sure I made a fool of myself, but the way I look at it, a little bit of entertainment from me was the least I could do to show them how much I appreciated the hospitality. 

After the dinner I got to sit down outside in the warm breeze with some local kids for a nice conversation and a private lesson in Ugandan. Jabaleko Thank you for your work. Nsanuse Kukoo la va I am very happy to see you. oli mu qua no quan ge You are my friend. 

These were exactly the words I wanted to say to the people at Salama Shield. Thank you for having us, my friends. I appreciate your hospitality, but most of all I appreciate the hard work you guys put in long term to help making a difference in Uganda. Jabaleko.