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  • Jessica Sebastian

Graduation Ceremony

Tender Mercies threw a big party to celebrate our eight university graduates!  The graduates’ degrees ranged from law to plumbing to fashion design and pastor/teacher.

A catered meal was cooked behind the home in seven huge pots that were cooked over charcoal. The temperature was adjusted by moving the charcoal with long sticks. The food cooked all day long. The celebration lasted for 5 1/2 hours!

It was so long and I could only understand about a third of what the speakers were saying. Each graduate gave a speech, plus two parents, a police officer, the equivalent of the head of their child protective services, the local chairman of AIDSpirit, a local pastor, Charles and a couple of people of who I am unsure of.

The Ugandans love to talk and give speeches. “I know that there have been many speeches but I would like to take this opportunity…….”Two graduates of Tender Mercies, Alex and Nyanzi, ran the ceremony as MC and interpreter. They kept trying to cut the speakers off, but to no avail!

Between each speaker the DJ would play music to introduce him or her. The graduates danced on and off the stage and individually when giving their speeches.  Like nothing I have ever witnessed. There was a countdown with music blasting to cut the modestly sized cake at the end. The first cut or two of the cake was done in an organized manner and then it got chopped into crouton sized pieces that everyone shared while the music blared and dancing commenced.

The children that I danced with on the lawn were so happy for the attention and fun. Dancing and twirling those two girls was worth the 5 1/2 hour wait.

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