Click on one of these a day! You may find a new favorite blog!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Africa: Back From Africa Monday

I'm back from Africa, so here's a list of what I will NOT be doing today (that I WAS doing last Monday when I had no internet to post).

1. Blogging by hand.
Yeah, that's the Nile in the background. SO COOL!

But wait, it gets better. That's me drinking coffee overlooking the Nile... AND an elephant!

2. Failing to flush
In the hotel, the famous toilet poem was posted in all tourist bathrooms:
If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down.
Yeah, that doesn't fly so well in Hermosa Beach with four girl roommates.

3. Being stopped while running.
In Gulu, apparently they do not know the phrase "run for fun" as well as their toilet poem.

While running through the streets that Monday morning, I was stopped repeatedly (at least 10 times) by Ugandans, who shouted, "Mzungu [white person], do you need help?" Their voices were thick with accent and concern: "Mzungu, what is wrong?" to which I would smile and reply, "Nothing!"

At this, they would say in confusion (every last one of them), "Then why are you running?"

Apparently, you only run if something large is chasing you -- human, animal, or natural disaster -- but something justifiable. Otherwise, you walk, or get made fun of, as I learned on my return trip running into the same Ugandans, who pointed and laughed at the crazy Mzungu running for running's sake.

4. Trying passion fruit for the first time.
Mmm...tastes soooo good.
Like orange pop rocks and mango with sour patch kids... or something like that.
Looks sooooo NOT good!

5. Floating down The Nile next to hippos, crocodiles, and possible death, while watching Paul try to catch his breath from laughing as I mistakenly called our boat driver, "Robot."

To my credit, Robert had a pretty thick accent.

6. Being stalked by a baboon. For reals.

I was on my way to dispose our lunch garbage. Suddenly I heard footsteps. I turned to see a baboon stalking me. I walked to the left, but another was there cutting off my escape.

“No!” I shouted at him like I was scolding a dog. My dog usually cowers with her tail between her legs. This guy stared at me like he wasn’t a fan of being scolded. “Just kidding, monkey,” I said, much to the delight of another Ugandan driver. “Hey,” I said to the driver laughing at my impending appendage removal, “how do you say ‘no’ in Lugandan?”

“Neh-dah,” he said.

“NEHHHHH-dah!” I said to the baboon. I swear he understood that word. He stopped.

But the other one looked at me like, “Lady, don’t make this difficult. Just hand over the purse.” Then I had a T-Rex Jurassic park moment. Another baboon attacked him for getting close to his territory, and they both ran off chasing each other.

Relieved, I turned and continued for the trash bin, and then it was my turn to stop. Another baboon, definitely the smartest in the pack, bypassed the ‘stalk and chase’ and instead perched herself WITH HER BABY at the base of the trash bin.

She knew where the food was heading.
I had seen enough Animal Planet shows to know you don’t mess with the kids when Mom’s around. It was time to test my basketball skills. With four sack lunches, I attempted three-point shots from 25 feet out, negative 5000 points (and a limb) for clocking the baby perched on the rim.

So I shot like Shaq (1 for 4) but I missed the baby, thank God. Thankfully, the litter didn’t last long, as all the baboons from the poorer districts came out of the woodwork for my poorly thrown snacks strewn wildly across the grounds. It was a good moment. I was intact, they were fed. Everybody won.

No comments:

Post a Comment