Posts tagged ‘music’

January 12, 2019

A Temporary Home

Since the first week of November Othy and I have been living in the home of friends of ours in Lubowa, south of Kampala. It has been good for us to have a bit of stability and a place where we don’t have to pay rent for a short time. It is also a well furnished place which has allowed us to be comfortable and able to host now and again. So although these walls are not ours, they have seen various people who are slowly becoming more apart of our lives. It is exciting to be starting to grow some friendships here in Uganda! Here are some photos from some of our gatherings! It’s a good thing that Othy likes to take photos or we wouldn’t have any!


Jerry, Safi, and their daughter


Noé, Bethany, and their kids

For the first few weeks that we stayed at this apartment, our friends Noé and Bethany and their kids were staying in the same complex in the apartment of another EMI couple. It was fun having them as neighbours. Their girls would sometimes be outside and see us from our back door and wave and yell hello. Other times we would see them on our way to going for a walk or bump into them at the store. The girls have so much energy and excitement that they treat you like you are the best person in the world. On American Thanksgiving, the day before they moved out of the apartment and left for Kenya, we shared a nice meal together. We were sad to see them leave!

Othy imported two cars to sell in Congo and one for us to use in Kampala. It greatly simplified getting around and my weak back was also thankful for it. It is a blue Mazda Verisa. To celebrate our one month being married and having a car we went out to see a movie in theatres. The cinema has particular meaning for us because we went to see the Hobbit in 3D while getting to know each other back in 2014. This time we went to see Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. The following week we went to the theatres again, this time to treat Salama and Wivine since Wivine would soon be returning to Congo. The traffic was so bad that we couldn’t pick them up and instead told them to get a boda and meet us at the mall. We missed the 7:45 show but decided to go to the 10pm show instead! So although we were out past midnight, it was much nicer to drive home on empty roads!


Rodrigue, Guylaine and family

Othy’s mother was in town for a few weeks to receive diagnosis and treatment for back pain. It was good timing that Othy and I were here and that Othy could drive her to and from appointments and run errands in town. I joined them on some of the outings. It was nice to spend more time with her and I also practiced more Swahili than I had in a long time. We brought Othy’s mom and Salama to the bus station when it was time for them to head back. Two weeks later we did the same for Obady who was travelling home to Goma for Christmas and New Years.

Christmas was the quietest I have ever experienced. The only decoration that I did was to buy white string lights and wrap them around a coffee table made of tree branches. Othy and I spent Christmas eve on our own, but Christmas day we were invited by Maggie to join a group for lunch. In the afternoon we decided to take advantage of the pool that is on our compound and go swimming for the first time! So although it was quiet, this Christmas will be memorable in it’s own way because it will probably only get busier and louder from here! On Christmas day Othy and I had a nice call with my family while they were gathered eating breakfast. We even took a family photo with those near and far!


The fam!





The person who visited us the most is our friend Elysée who is from our Like Christ group in Beni and has come to Kampala for post-secondary studies. During our time in Lubowa we often attended Kampala International Church (KIC) Lubowa where he also attends and is on the worship team. He would come home with us after church on several Sundays. Our last Sunday spent together with Elysee was on December 30th which was also election day. When Othy picked up the car he also brought his guitar which meant that we could enjoy playing and singing some songs together. On this particular day Othy and Elysée taught me a song called “Fanda Nayo”, or “Reign Forever” in Lingala. I realized that I had heard the song before at the UCBC graduation. We wanted to give God praise on election day because we know that no matter what happens, he is the ultimate ruler and holds us in his hands. 

To bring on the new year we decided to have one last time hosting people in our temporary home. We invited several of Othy’s friends from his time at Ugandan Christian University (UCU) and Elysée came again. They are such a great group of people and I look forward to spending more time with them. As we waited for the new year we shared about the challenges faced this past year but also how God was working through them and how he has blessed us. For me 2018 was a year full of both. At midnight we counted down and shared a toast and were surprised to find that we could see some fireworks that were being set off in Kajjansi. We kept talking past midnight and so by the time we dropped everyone off at their homes and then came back it was almost 4am!


What a year it has been indeed! Like the year before it has been another season of waiting. I was in a long-distance relationship with Othy and waiting to be reunited. I was working in architecture waiting to have enough hours to obtain licensure. I thought that once Othy and I were married the waiting would finally be over, but it looks like God has put us into another season of waiting, now as a couple. We are waiting for ebola to be contained, for stability to return to Beni region, and for elections to take place in Congo. But just like my time of waiting in Toronto, this time of waiting is not wasted. We are growing as a couple, finding ways to grow spiritually, and meeting incredible people along the way whose lives we have the opportunity to impact. The Christmas season reminded me that the Israelites were also in a time of waiting for the promised Messiah to come to redeem the world, and that now we are all waiting for Christ’s return.

The first week of January Othy and I spent time searching for an apartment. On January 6th we moved into a new place that we will have for at least three months. We are moving to a completely different neighbourhood that is on the opposite side of town than Lubowa. I will miss the calmness of the area and am sad that we are leaving a place when I felt like we were just beginning to grow some friendships there. I will miss the walks Othy and I would often go on exploring the area but hopefully we will continue the tradition in this new place. The new apartment is a good fit for us and hopefully we will find some community here too. Already after only two months we are ending a season and starting another.


Creative Christmas decor


Exploring the neighbourhoods around Lubowa

Fanda Nayo (Sung in Lingala)

Kiti ya bokonzi na yo Yesu ee éléki makasi
(The throne of your Glory so Jesus, is Powerful,)
Nani ako longolayo, po tovota yo té
(None can dethrone You, because we did not vote you)
Ba mpaka mikolo, ba mama, bilenge, decidé
(Wise men, children, mothers, young people all decided)
Ya ko tombola kiti oyo ya bokonzi, ya yaya Yesué
(To raise Jesus’ throne) (Repeat)

Yaya fanda nayo (Father Reign Forever)
Fanda nayo (Reign Forever)
Wumela seko na seko (May Your kingdom live forever)  (Repeat)

To vota kutu té (No one voted for You)
To pona kutu té (No one chose You)
Wumela séko na séko (May Your Kingdom live forever) (Repeat)

Ba polos kutu té (You did not need to give out Polos (bribes) )
Ba chapeaux kutu té (No need for hats (politician bribes))
Wumela séko na séko (May Your Kingdom last forever) (Repeat)



December 16, 2017

House of God Forever

July 7, 2015


I got a pleasant surprise when Kate texted me inviting me to go see the Once musical since she had won free tickets. Cam and Andrea also joined us. Kate and I arrived early so that we could go on stage while people were coming in to be seated. I ordered a beer from the bar on the stage and we got to whisper “Hello” to the piano and enjoy seeing the set up close and looking out onto the audience. The set was very simple with a curved wall covered in old mirrors, a wooden bar, and a checkered floor. I thought how fun it must be for the set designers to make the mirrors look rusty and the floor all scuffed up! After fifteen minutes on stage the actors came out and started playing songs and dancing right in front of us! Then we took our seats right before the musical began. It was definitely worth seeing. The acting and music were great! I was so inspired that I went home and learned “The Hill” on piano!


Stage floor


June 26, 2015

Pulp Paper Art Party 2.0

Paper stalactites

Paper stalactites

You know you have lived in Toronto for a decent amount of time when you start attending events for the second or third time. I went to this years Pulp Paper Art Party mainly because my awesome sister was selected to create one of the paper installations in collaboration with one of her fellow makers Agnes! The party was great! This year it was held at the Jam Factory just east of the Don Valley. Jen and Agnes made an ornate cardboard fireplace, portraits with ornate frames, and an elk head. They also had an interactive piece that was a bear rug woven from folded paper cut from old encyclopaedias. Many people sat down and contributed throughout the evening. My other favourite piece was a cluster of paper stalactites that had a twisted accordion structure. It was possible to pull on a string and make some of them contract, but then because the bottom was weighted they would slowly expand again. There was also a performance piece that occurred a few times throughout the evening and the performers created beautiful, fanciful hats made of paper and gave them to spectators. The music was fantastic just like two years ago. This year featured the Box Car Boys and A Little Rambunctious, both that have an Eastern European gypsy jazz sound. A Little Rambunctious would ask for made-up song titles and then they would invent a song and lyrics on the spot! It was impressive! A highlight of the evening was when Chris requested the song title “Whales in Flight”, hoping to see if he could stump them. Nope. The music sounded like mythical whales were quite literally in flight.

The Smoking Room by Jen and Agnes

The Smoking Room by Jen and Agnes

The bear rug

The bear rug



March 30, 2015

Music and Pattern

Since I don’t have time to write posts (final thesis crunch), I will just have to refer to other inspiring work. Here is another great video from Vihart, Mathemusician. I found it really opened my mind to how it is possible to experiment with music and how it can even be associated with spatial patterns. Music is another type of mapping.

May 1, 2013

Grow Pulp Wolves

Don’t you know that these are all the rage?  If only there was such a thing as grow pulp wolves.  I was just trying to put the names together from my activities of this weekend.  Toronto is a city full of so many interesting sights and sounds.  I am always in awe of what the human creative mind can invent!

On Friday night I went to the Grow Op event that I advertised in an earlier post.  I was mistaken when I said that our Field Cushion project was going to be exhibited… rather strange, but they just used it for the promotional material and that was all.  It was false advertising I would venture to say.  The event was a lot of fun, but I must admit I was disappointed.  It wasn’t anything new really and it wasn’t about exploring landscape and place like I thought.  Nope, it was a plant version of Come Up To My Room.  Rather than questioning what landscape is and can be, it was a series of metaphorical artworks and objects that incorporated plants.  Blah.  In fact it was only the Waterloo team F_rm Lab that managed to try anything of the sort, but even then it still looked too much like a decoration to me and not a landscape.  It didn’t have any power over the space because the busy lobby of the Gladstone overpowered any effect it could have had.  My favourite piece of the evening was ‘Fluorescent’ by Jane Hutton and was exhibited in a darkened bathroom.  It was nothing but a black light shining on some sliced sections of branches.  I didn’t know this, but certain species of trees absort and emit different and subtle levels of light.  Even though these branches were simple objects, when they glowed they made the space feel surreal.  They in themselves created interesting landscapes of contrasting patterns of rings, spots, and lines, that if one did not see them sliced in two and exhibited in this way one would never know how much they actually differ.

Neon Wood Plant Lights

This ‘Babylon Light’ by Ryan Taylor is a neat idea.  I also liked the ‘Knitted Garden’ (of which I do not have a good photo) by Mehran Ataee and Dylan Uscher.

The second event of the weekend was on Saturday night when I went with a group of friends to a ‘Pulp Paper Art Party’ organized by Architecture for Humanity.  I was looking forward to seeing how paper could be used spatially in new ways and imagined being in a space surrounded by paper where a person could manipulate it by ripping it, folding it, and drawing on it.  I was also a little disappointed for this event as well (Sorry but I must be the architectural critic).  When they could have done sooo much with recycled paper and created a cool interactive landscape, all there was were little ‘stations’ so to speak.  The only paper item that actually carried through the space were these paper snowflake-remeniscent streamers hanging down randomly in the space.  Maybe there was fire code issues and they couldn’t take it that far?  In my opinion if it wasn’t for the music the event would’ve been a flop.  The live music was FANTASTIC and so was the space which was an old brick industrial building in the Junction neighbourhood.  A group called ‘Lemon Bucket‘ performed and they very appropriately describe themselves as a, quote, “balkan-klezmer-gypsy-party-punk-super band”.


My favourite ‘paper decor’ of the evening were the scraps of paper stabbed onto the antlers of the gigantic stuffed deer head hanging off the center of the mezzanine.  The building was an amazing triple-height space.  Unfortunately we were limited to the ground floor, but got to enjoy the band playing on the mezzanine above us.  Jen & Danielle

Jen and her friend Danielle were visiting for the weekend and came along.  Not only do they look stunning in this picture, I am also particularly proud of how clear they are while there is nothing but movement behind them (hooray for steady hands!).  And it’s true, there were people dancing a mile a minute behind them!

DSCN8026 Sitting Listening

It was particularly cool, when near the end of their performance, the band came down and started playing right in the middle of the crowd.  There was even a point when they managed to calm everyone, got the crowd to sit down, and sang acapella.

We stayed at the event until the music performance had ended, and then headed back to my place.  For my friend Vikkie and I the night was not yet over.  We headed down to the Horseshoe Tavern at Queen and Spadina to see the Ketch Harbour Wolves play.  They introduced a new album with songs inspired by Toronto.  Even though I can never understand the lyrics, I really enjoy the music because it does indeed evoke feelings about places.


Tags: , , ,