Today marked the halfway point of the World Music Mission Kampala Conference. We have seen such a great response already from everyone involved. Another busy day of teaching and breakout groups was in store for today.
Before all the action started, however, I had a mini-adventure in the early hours of the day. I was awake early again, which has been a regular occurrence this week. At first, I thought I would just take a walk around the hotel grounds, and leave my camera behind. But as I began my stroll, I took an unexpected turn. I decided to leave the hotel, and explore at least a little bit of the surrounding area. I probably shouldn’t have done this alone, since the streets can be slightly un-safe for someone like me, especially carrying my expensive camera and backpack.
No matter, I needed to escape our confines, if only for a short while. As soon as I’d taken ten steps, though, I realized I just HAD to have my camera. Too many unique sights to see that needed to be captured!
Much like I experienced in India, Africa seems to be a very vibrant and colorful place. I absolutely love the array of colors and textures. A true photographer’s delight.
As I was wandering down a side road near our hotel, I noticed a young man standing by a small intersection. We said hello, and before long we had struck up a conversation. His name was Fred, and he was a sharp guy. We talked about American and Ugandan politics, and he schooled me on the current state of Uganda, their president, and what the future might hold for them, at least according to him. It was a rousing conversation, and I felt enlightened afterwards. I also told him about the conference and invited him, and he was really excited!
Then of course, I asked to take his portrait…
It was getting close to starting time for the conference, and conveniently Fred’s sister Charity was walking back towards the hotel. She guided me back safely, and the day began.
I’ve been interviewing students all week, asking them for feedback and such. Today, Hilda was one of my candidates. She has a thirst learning, and she also helps out with the videos for EA Gospel Mission.
Kurt led a Q & A session today, and I listened as several students chimed in with questions. I found this time to be just as informative as the regular classes, if not more.
It rains a lot in Uganda…
If you’ve been following along since our trip started, you’ll remember this smiling youngster, Denis. He happened to be at the hotel the first day we were here. His family attends a church service that meets at the hotel on Sundays.
I struck up a conversation with Denis and his friends, and ended up inviting all of them to the conference. Of all his friends, Denis was the only one that actually came. But he has been here faithfully each day! He clearly has a heart for music, for singing and for playing the guitar.
It’s been amazing to watch him learning, and to see Frank start to teach him right away, even though they’ve just met!
During the afternoon session today, we had some guests speakers and musicians. It was nice to mix it up, and they were also talented worship leaders and speakers.
They move and groove quite a bit over here. Definitely not what I’m used to, but it’s fun to watch!
Before wrapping up, we had some important business to attend to. We officially presented the academy with their music gifts, the ones that YOU have helped provide!
…Moses was presented with a new guitar petal from Truetone, plus instructional course on guitar and piano from Legacy Learning Systems. The students were so stoked!
The breakout groups today went smoothly yet again. I had a splendid time with my photography students, who really seem to be learning quickly. And of course Frank, who ten months ago couldn’t play the guitar, is putting his new-found knowledge to practice and teaching it to new students. Incredible to see the fruit of World Music Mission in action.
I’m loving the portraits I’m getting of these beautiful African people! Here are brothers Jonah and Caleb, who help lead the media team at EA Gospel.
Pretty sure this is my favorite face that I’ve captured so far. This guy just beams…