"So how old are you?" That was the question of the night. Today is my birthday and the kids sang the traditional birthday song and it just so happened that our power was out and we were meeting in candle light shortly after dinner, so I had a candle to blow out too! We didn't have a birthday cake mostly because the cakes here would need a jack hammer to cut into it.
So it was after I blew out my candle that the guessing game began. How old are you today? Well it is my fault, I asked them to guess, the guesses came in some were being funny and saying 17, but then came 71, 68, 55, 63, 74, 52 and OK I am going to stop there. It really told a story though, with a average longevity of life to be 46 years old in Uganda and them not not seeing many older muzungus maybe, (I tell myself) and also when you are a kid everyone seems old. Well you can see I am still trying to convince myself of that!
The average age in Uganda is 15 and the average life expectancy is around 46 years. So yea, I am old here, especially to these kids who most of their parents are deceased. That is why Robyn and I are the Jaja's (grandparents) and the 30 year old's are the momma and daddy.
One of the boys later told me that there is a saying here, now some things just don't always translate well, but, "older people have wisdom", that part is OK, but then it goes further, "they are like roasted meat because it is preserved", so I am thinking; I think this means that I am like Beef Jerky. Now I picture myself in one of those jars in your local convenience store counter, (you have to know my imagination).
Anyway they gave me a totally customized two sided birthday card that was signed by everyone in the family with lots of well wishes for a long life!...Priceless! OK, I am 58 years young today! Of course it is still shocking even to me, where does the time go?