It’s a beautiful morning in Africa, not just because the sun is rising and the birds are singing and the monkeys jumping, but because my daughter too is singing.
She has been working on this piece for weeks – it’s an Adele song – and I will never tire of hearing it because there’s a certain joy and pain mixed in the song, a reminder that even when life is hard it’s also to be celebrated.
The driven, which are plenty of us at one time or another, tend to miss this, always wanting to be ‘this one’ or ‘that one,’ as they say in Uganda, when all we really need is to be ourselves.
Liz is working on another song also, from, interestingly enough for a Canadian kid in Africa, The Lion King. It’s for a Valentine’s Day wedding of a Ugandan woman named Dorothy, someone who has been part of the children’s lives since they can remember.
I met Dorothy on the first day I moved my family’s goods into our Ugandan home almost 10 years now. She had an infectious laugh that I hope I’ll never forget long after my family and I are back on the North American side of the Atlantic for good.
Her story is that she prayed a certain prayer for many years for all she ever wanted, a husband to love, a man who loves his God and her God too.
Even while the horizon was barren, all our neighbours, even when Dorothy was with us in Canada during summers, knew this is all she wanted – she was never shy about sharing it.
Read more here about Dorothy and her role in my family’s life, a role that has seen changes especially since we enrolled her in a university program here in Uganda for the past several years. And read here about Dorothy and African dowries.
Soon she graduates. More celebration.
And even sooner, that Valentine’s wedding. Four hundred guests will fill our front lawn.
For Dorothy and her husband — his name is Patrick — my 11-year-old girl will perform and her younger brother Jon will hold the ring and still younger sister Hannah, the flowers. And Jean and I will say some words as we’re expected as Dorothy’s so-called “spiritual parents.”
And the sun will shine. And the birds will sing. And the monkeys … And that too will be a beautiful day in Africa.