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.
The 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.
Some of the leaf damage on the mango seedlings
A 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.
A 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.
The children on their way to greet the groom's family at the introduction