Sunday, May 23, 2010

King of Toro Birthday

The King of Toro was the youngest king in the world when he was crowned about 15 years ago. He is now at University and just celebrated his 18th birthday. This was a HUGE deal! Tons of bigshots came to the palace in Fort Portal. The King’s palace sits high up on a hill in Fort Portal and when we went to town during the birthday celebration, we saw huge crowds, lights, and tents set up all over. So we had to go up and check it out. It was amazing! It was like a real music festival. There were multiple stages set up. One huge one that had all the most popular Ugandan musicians performing. There were beer tents, vendors selling things, people selling t-shirts, hats, and badges to mark the event. We got a great t-shirt with a picture of the King dressed in his traditional robes posing on his thrown. Nice! There were even promotional tents trying to get people to sign up for mobile phone plans and things like that. And there was one of those cash blowing machines where you go in and try to catch the money. It was crazy!

This was actually during one of our last weeks in Uganda, so we were stressed and overworked, so we could only stay for a short time. We listened to some music and then worked our way up to the palace to see what was going on up there. For some reason, the security guards just let us right in. I told Jeff just to look like we knew what we were doing and I flashed a smile at the guard and away we went. I’m sure being Mzungu played a big part in that pass. So we get up to the palace and there are tons of famous people up there. I mean, Presidents from nearby countries were visiting, the Kings and Queens of other Kingdoms were there, and all the big Ugandan politicians. There were news crews filming and so on. There were tons of big black cars with different country flags on them. Unfortunately, we two stupid mzungus had no idea who anyone was. So we make our way into this super exciting area and have no idea what to do or who to look at or who to try to get pictures of. We focused on not looking lost. We hung out for a little bit, talked to one of the film people, and then left. It was exciting, though. The crowds were outrageous.

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