photo courtesy of
My heart is beeping…
Kyra Kontudis ‘07
April 29, 2007
bought a white t-shirt and put a big red X on the front. I packed my
water, saltines, sleeping bag and cardboard. I was ready to be
displaced. As we got on the metro I struggled to keep all my belongings
together, which I’m sure was part of the experience. We had a little
scare when Hayley was left on the blue line when we changed to the green
line but everything worked out.
Once we got to the mall I was overwhelmed with all the people who had
showed up. There were mountains of crackers and water. I called my
parents to tell them I arrived safely. My daddy picked up and of course
acted like a father asked if there were police and told me not to get
arrested. I assured him that I would be fine and he said “I know you
will have a good time I love you” and I replied I love you to and before
we hung up he told me he was proud of me.
Once we started setting up our cardboard homes I realized I didn’t have
that much cardboard. So Marie and I decided to cut all our cardboard in
half to get more out of it. We built ourselves a humble little hut; we
hardly had a roof over our heads. As everyone joined in the center we
ran in order to be part of the documentary. After we finished making the
documentary we were on our own.
We met out neighbors and walked around to introduce ourselves to others.
People had brought instruments like drums bongos and guitars. As we
became groupies we started to sing and dance in African rhythms it was
amazing. The enclosed space became too small because so many people
began to join so we moved to the major open area which also began to
fill. There were guest speakers who did an amazing job of touching
After the man from Uganda finished his speech he introduced himself to
all the people. Of course the NDP girls asked lots of questions and
became more informed. We know his story and like he said we are the ones
who are responsible to spread the word. Throughout the night there were
different activities. We wrote letters to political figures and attached
our pictures. The hardest task in my opinion was the 21 minutes of
silence. Each minute symbolized a year of unrest in Uganda. I isolated
myself from everyone in order to remain silent.
The food distribution in my opinion was the most interesting. Women in
Uganda are in charge of getting water. They wake up early in the morning
and wait at the well for hours in order to get clean water. The people
in charge gave directions on how the crackers and water would be passed
out. The men were allowed to go to the food station and take 3 packs of
crackers while women from the age of 18-22 were allowed to go to the
food station and get 1 bottle of water. If you were a women and wanted
crackers you needed to find a man and ask if he could get you food. The
men had to go to a woman and get water. Many people traded in order to
get both food and water.
As the night went on we became closer to the people around us. We threw
out beats and cheers such as “Peace to Uganda Peace to Uganda” “peace
and love” “we are Uganda” “let our beat shake the white house” and many
It was finally time to go to bed and it was freezing and miserable, I
woke up every hour shivering but I was glad. I felt bad having so much
fun because all the poor invisible children are miserable so by being
miserable at night I felt like I had a tiny bit of their experience.
Overall if I were to describe my experience in one word it would be
moving. I am so happy I participated because it is a memory that will
last me forever.
My heart is
beeping for the