The dance troupe members went home for early holidays, getting to celebrate Christmas with their families ahead of time. They were told to report back today at noon, for a 2 PM training. By 8 PM we had most of them back, and they weaseled their way out of an evening training (negotiating for a 5 AM start time tomorrow instead). But I'd waited a week already to hear and see them, and I wouldn't stand to wait longer. So they put together an impromptu concert in Robert's bedroom... singing hymns and party songs alike, accompanied by harps and fiddle, dancing with side-to-side steps and hand movements. Simple, simple things, fun and easy for them. They all looked at me with such huge smiles and excitement as they sang.
I've been feeling slightly out of it since I got here, but as their music swelled around me, all of a sudden everything clicked into place. Behind me: years of love and learning. Ahead of me: traveling to share this song. And in the here and now: gratitude.
The song they sang first was the first Luganda song I learned when I came in 2005 - tunakuwaki ffe - meaning "what can we give you, [God] but to praise you all our days?" That is the kind of gratitude I'm feeling now -- there is just nothing I can possibly do or say to do it justice. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve, for the huge privilege of bringing these children to America to share their song, and for the life journey that brought me to this place and this time.