A Reflection of My Life after living in Uganda as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kasubi Tombs

Last week the Kasubi Tombs were burned. The Kasubi Tombs were the burial tombs of the Kings of Buganda. They also housed various Bugandan artifacts like spears, a pet leopard skin, and military metals. The loss of the tombs and physical representations of history have been devastating to Bugandans.

There is much speculation as to how the fire came to be. Some blame Kenyan’s trying to retaliate for 2 Kenyan students who were killed recently at the University here. The International community seems to think it was Museveni (the president) and the Ugandan government. Others simply blame lazy guards who let hooligan youth in. I’m not sure the truth will ever come out.

The Bugandan Kingdom declared this week a week of mourning. Some men wear the traditional long white coat and strips of bark cloth tied around an arm, waist or other appendage. Many go barefoot. Women should dress is black though I haven’t seen any. Friday has been made a public holiday.

I think about the States and how many people must be involved in making a public holiday (congress etc.) and how in less than one week a holiday was created here in Uganda. Another example of a checks and balance system that is not.

I am also reminded of how close tensions are to the surface. Every tension is intensified here, every reaction is extreme. We have a year until the elections and even when they are passed I am not sure when Uganda will learn to keep stable and not blow-up at every occasion.

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