Travel Moments: Hanne of Places People Stories
In 2011 I celebrated Christmas with a local family in the countryside of Uganda. It is one of the moments I remember best from 5 years of travels, and it makes me smile just thinking about the good times we shared that Christmas day.
For me it was a very different Christmas. After a long car-ride we arrived, and went directly to the church where the whole village were gathered. I had to go up in front of everyone to present myself, as I was the first foreigner visiting there for years. I remember well seeing all the beautiful people in their best clothes. The children, often in way too big ones, because they got it from their older siblings or their parents bought it bigger for them to grow into it. As they just get new clothes once a year – for Christmas.
Afterwards, we went to eat in the house of the family. They had made the most delicious food. We women had to eat on the floor, while the men could sit up at the table while eating. This was interesting for me, a bit shocking as well, but it made me understand the culture better.
As a gift and thank you to the family, I had bought a solar panel light together with my friend. The whole village came to thank us for giving it. I have never experienced anyone get so happy, for so little. I understood how much they needed it – the whole village. This encouraged me to give more, and appreciate more of what I have.
Hanne Hellvik, is a Norwegian girl that has travelled to over 50 countries. Usually sustainable, staying a longer time at each place. She loves to study people and cultures, and thereafter write about it in her blog Places People Stories.