Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Dress for Fahrid and Sharon from Sally and Barb



Fahrid listened from her yard as the sound of heavy metal locks clanking against steel doorframes echoed throughout the house and down the street. At the sight of the front door opening from the inside, she began her approach. This little darling and all her siblings enjoy watching her mzungu neighbor’s every move and I’d like to think she was happy to see me home. Alone this time, Fahrid cautiously approached the house.

I stepped onto the veranda to greet my little friend in Luganda. She welcomed me home in the loudest voice she could muster. Still mindful of the cultural boundaries guiding public displays of affection, I tossed them aside and enveloped Fahrid in a big hug (I said mindful, not obedient). I told her, in English this time, how very happy I was to see her and how glad I was that she appeared to be well.

We chatted, as much as Ugandan children do, and then I invited her into the house for a dress sizing. She gladly removed her raggedy sweatshirt and found the soft comfort of her new yellow dress. I sent her away with a big smile and put the other dresses away…until Fahrid arrived pushing her sister ahead of her while her brothers trailed behind.

Sharon had been prepared for the strange mzungu gift by her big sister, who was holding her raggedy red sweatshirt to allow the ease of dress fitting. A perfect match, blue checks and birdies.

Toward evening, the girls were spotted in their birthday suits washing in the small basin placed in the front yard. After deemed clean by their mother, they put their new little dresses on and waved from the safety of the dirt mound in their front yard. Good night little darlings.