Traditional Buganda site

Eric and I once took a walk around our hill and stumbled upon the entrance to a Buganda cultural site.  We didn't go in, but I vowed to come back some time and learn more.  A few months ago, I took a couple of girl friends and we made a proper visit out of it.

Traditionally, the Buganda found their spirituality in places with a significant natural landmark - a waterfall, a large rock, or, in this case, a large tree.  The huge mango tree at the top of Makindye Hill gives residence to the spirit of a woman ancestor.  Other smaller shrines have popped up around the tree, each corresponding with a different ancestor.

Those who keep the place graciously showed us around and answered our questions.  We were grateful for the invitation to learn more about the traditions of the tribe we interact with daily, but has largely moved away from this part of their heritage.

Quilts: Textiles from home

I'm usually enthralled by the different textiles I find around the world.  Whether it's mudcloth from Mali, block stamped scarves from India, or woven rugs from Jordan, I love bringing these textiles into my life, learning how they are traditionally made, and running my hands over their surfaces.

And sometimes, it takes going around the world to appreciate the culture and traditions that you grew up with at home!

The people of Midwest America have been quilting since the pioneer days, and my family in Indiana has carried on this textile tradition.  Growing up, my grandma always had a quilting project in progress.  She made a quilt for each of her 13 grandchildren and, by the time she left us, there were enough quilts for us to all take another to save for when we got married.  Her quilts are still found throughout our home and our cabin.  I even made enough room in my suitcase to bring one to Uganda, to make my life there feel just a bit more home-y.

The tradition continues, as my mother makes each of her grandchildren a quilt when they came into this world.  At my baby shower last week, she gifted the baby its own patchwork blanket made of green and brown fabric pieces she chose, cut, and sewed together, each with intention and love, I'm sure.

My grandmother had a sign hanging in her kitchen, made my by aunt.  It read,
"Our family's like a patchwork quilt
with kindness gently sewn.
Each piece is an original
with beauty all its own."

The first quilt my grandmother gave me when I was 8 years old.

Mom, sewing a quilt for my niece, Leann

Mom's quilt for the new baby