My visit to Quincy, California got me to experience the American cultural I had not experienced before. I met Amy (our host) in Kampala while she was visiting Uganda and participated in lecturing at a training conducted by African Graduate Entrepreneurs. I connected with her LinkedIn with plan of contacting her in case I needed further clarity on the topic she discussed – which for some reason I do not recall but I suspect it had something to do with business plan writing.
We left for Quincy from Reno on 3rdJuly with a plan to spend weekend so we learn from Amy about grant writing and take a much-needed break from Reno. This was coincidentally the famous 4thJuly weekend, which is a ‘big deal’ in America as I later learned. Our first stopover was at Graeagle, which opened the Independence Day celebrations – a big part of the American culture. The activities there were family friendly with children and some adults swimming in the pond, camp fires and people roasting mash mellows (too sweet for my taste buds). With several cars parked, I noticed that a lot of them were campers/caravans something common in America.
Since this was 3rd July, everyone waited in anticipation for fireworks as it got closer to mid night. The excitement reminded me of the New Year celebration excitement back home. The fireworks and ululations from the ground were a sign that the people present were grateful for their country and in a way honoring the fore fathers who were involved in setting it up. We had conversations around the country and several questions about our own countries.
The next day in the evening after a day trying to work on our proposals with almost no success, together with our host we visited another home where they had a barbecue. After the barbecue with different people, we visited the High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy. This festival seemed to be a highlight for the residents who get to host people making an extra buck from the music festival attendees and also ‘spices’ up their social life. The show gave me a perspective of America than I had not experienced before. It had mostly young people and some surprisingly older people that chose to explore and relieve the days of their youth.
I must say what an experience it was, a real immersion into a different face of the American culture. I watched in awe numerous hippies that I had only heard about from reference in some news articles. This was a good spice up of the otherwise seemingly quiet Quincy. That marked the end of our Quincy weekend with amazing hosts and great countryside with spiced up exposure of some of the American culture.