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Culture and Cultivation

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Posted Sep. 7, 2015

There has been so much activity this week that it is hard to know where to begin. The maize harvest has wrapped up and the planting continues. Workers have shifted to installing more irrigation, weeding the fields and transplanting mango seedlings. I predominately helped with the mango seedling project this week. In July, the seeds were planted in beds of sand for germination. We packed soil into planting bags and transplanted the seedlings in the morning while the weather was still cool. The ultimate goal for the mango seedlings is to have 5,000 grafted seedlings for sale. When the transplants have reached the thickness of a pencil, we will graft mature cuttings from a desirable variety.

mango seedlingsThe newly planted mango seedlings

The farm had previously transplanted about 1,000 seedlings in early August. There are only 360 of these initial seedlings that survived. We believe they have anthracnose, a type of fungal disease. We are starting to treat them with a fungicide and beginning a regular treatment schedule for the new transplants as well.

the newly transplated mango seedlingsSome of the leaf damage on the mango seedlings

diseased mango seedlingA diseased mango seedling

In addition to my time at Lubbe Farm this week, I got to attend two very exciting events: cultural dancing and a Buganda Introduction. On Tuesday, I went to see the Ndere Dance Troupe at the Ndere Cultural Center. The show was three hours of cultural dances and comedy from all over Uganda and eastern Africa. The dancers were amazing athletes and great dancers. They all could play a variety of instruments, and it was some of the best drumming and dancing that I have seen. It was really hard to get good pictures and videos, but I got a few that don't really do it justice.

Rwandan traditional dance performerA dancer performing a Rwandan traditional dance

Ugandan traditional dancing

Friday night I was invited to my first Buganda Introduction. It was a blast! I went with my two friends Iryn and Mbabazi. Iryn had brought two traditional dresses for me to try. All of these older women who spoke no English dressed me, and they each had their own opinions about what I should wear. Finally they brought out another dress that they all seemed to agree looked the best. It is really funny to be bossed around when you don't fully understand what the person is saying. There are a lot of hand gestures involved. They probably thought I was crazy because I couldn't stop laughing! Hilary gives a great description of the significance of the introduction in the previous post A Ugandan Introduction.

children greeting groom's familyThe children on their way to greet the groom's family at the introduction

About the Author

Jennifer Bryant is a 2015 Noble-Watoto Fellow working at Watoto Child Care Ministries in Uganda. Bryant is from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is in her first year of the master of international agriculture program at Oklahoma State University, where she focuses on international agriculture development and sustainability.

Jennifer Bryant
2015 Noble-Watoto Fellow