Thursday, February 10, 2011

Game Play

Most of you know how much I love to play games. I’m just a tad competitive too. You won’t be surprised to hear that I had several opportunities to play a variety of games while in Uganda.

I first started playing Moncala with Olivia before her tutoring sessions. Not only did she learn the basics of the game but she learned strategy and she learned to teach her friends how to play. Now there are a whole slew of kids in Uganda who play the game with an incomplete set of rules.

I came upon Wahabu and Joel (whose name we later discovered is actually John) playing cards. I asked what game they were playing and they said, “playing cards.” I tried to clarify to say that any game that uses a standard deck of cards could be called “playing cards.” And asked which card game they were playing. To which Wahabu replied, “playing cards” in a voice just a bit more forceful than before. Okay, then. They taught me to play some cross between Crazy 8s and Uno. I won over and over and they uninvited me from playing. Sorry.

While visiting Karamoja I came across a boy with a brand new deck of Uno cards. I presumed they came in the gift bag given by one of the children’s sponsors. Only a few of the children spoke English well enough to understand me but thankfully Uno uses symbols that are relatively easy to interpret. I taught a group of four to play, then a second group. The girls started hollering and they began joining the subsequent groups I taught. Then I challenged the kids to form a new group of four and play by themselves while I watched. They did great. I left the group and later found kids playing independently. Hopefully when I return they’ll invite me to play too J