Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mandela Day Celebration

Earlier this week Morgan and I attended our area's first celebration of Nelson Mandela International Day.  The United Nations declared July 18 Mandela Day (in honor of Nelson Mandela's birthday) to promote service to humanity.  I'd been looking forward to the event for weeks.
We saw the Umdabu Dance Company perform.  I've seen them perform before, but I can't remember where.  They're actually a local dance company dedicated to preserving and presenting the history and culture of the Zulu people of South Africa. 

These women and girls were actually visiting from South Africa.  They are high school students from Johannesburg, and were here as part of the International Legacy Youth Leadership Project.  We walked up just in time to see the last of their impromptu dance performance.

The Birmingham Civil Rights Insitute sponsored the event.  I had no plans to take Morgan to this museum for a while because she's used to museums where she can touch everything.  But since admission was free that day, we gave it a try.  We made it about halfway through and got to the bus exhibit.  My child is obsessed with buses, so of course she wanted to get on.  How do you explain to a child that you're in a place where things are just for show and not to be touched?  Well, you try.  And then you lie and say the bus is broken (I guess that's not exactly a lie).  And when that doesn't work, you leave and go back outside where they have Italian ice and bouncy houses for the kids.

And on your way out, you snap this pic (to compare to the one you'll take a few years from now when she's old enough to come back). 

By the way, I'm so thankful for apps like Instagram that spruce up cell phone pics.  I didn't take my camera that day, and I'm sort of glad I didn't.
The museum is next door to 16th Street Baptist Church.


The weather was good to us that day.  It was high 80s with low humidity, so we could actually breathe.  The best part about the day?  Sitting on the lawn with my sweet girl drinking homemade lemonade and watching the performers. We didn't take a blanket to sit on.  I happened to have on a long flowy dress that was just the right size to protect my sweetie and me from the itchy grass and "buggies," as she calls them.  It was a beautiful day.

We can change the world and make it a better place.  It is in your hands to make a difference.
-Nelson Mandela

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