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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Welcome to Uganda!


I am writing this from somebody's phone since the internet is as common as blond hair here. Texting this posting is a labor of love, I will have you know! I will post pics as soon as I can I promise. In the meantime, here's some inconsequential details about life in Uganda.

Everyone here speaks English, and I mean England English -- not American English.
Therefore, I must retrain my spell-check Nazi brain not to hyperventilate when I see a billboard with the word "realise" or "authorise".

I brought with me two cans of Jungle Juice, which contains 100 percent deet, and today I showered myself with the spray can. Perhaps I went overboard, but I aim to kill all mosquitoes within a 40 mile radius.
I am confident of any bug spray that contains the word "jungle" in it. The "juice" part is a little misleading, as it will result in death if swallowed. I find that applying Jungle Juice is a sensation not unlike taking a shower in baby oil.

Note to self: Brooke's jungle-juiced up hand just grabbed hold of a pampers package and I noticed the plastic dissolved a little in her hand. Should I be concerned?
Can you see the faint trace of blue from the pampers package on Brooke's hand and chin? Yeahhh... We were lathering our bodies in the stuff that melts plastic. But no malaria for us!

What I learned today:

I exchanged 100 dollars for 212,500 shillings. That's 2125 shillings to the dollar for all those mathematically challenged.

"Shilling" is the currency -- very British. After alln the Brits colonized Uganda. Or should I say "colonised"?

I apologize to those of you who are saying, "Thanks, Captain Obvious. Who DOESN'T know that the Brits colonized Uganda?" The one who had Mrs. O'Keefe for 10th grade History, that's who! Mrs. O'Keefe, the old ex-nun from Ireland who handed out worksheets every day and said in her thick Irish leprechaun voice, "You're all a bunch o' turkeys!" Seriously, that's all I remember.

Driving in Uganda is like a big game of "chicken", except nobody is chicken. There are hardly any stoplights, but lots of pinwheel type roads, where you hop in the circle and hope you hop out in time. There is no road rage, but everybody cuts everybody else off. Very strange paradox.
Yes, I totally rode a Boda. Why? 'Cause you have to.
So helmets aren't included in the cab fare, and you have to ride side saddle, without being "culturally inappropriate" and grabbing onto your driver's waist. I might have broken that rule around a couple potholes.

Lunch was like speed dating for food. You sit down and about six waiters (from different restaurants) approach, and they place their menus on the table. Then they calmly try to "sell" their menu.
They're aggressive in a very soft-spoken manner (kind of like their driving skills). Once you pick up a menu, that waiter wins and takes your order. See these people talking to us. They're all waiters from DIFFERENT restaurants.
Ridiculous moment:

Steve asked, "Where's the capital?"

Jeami said, "This IS the capital. Kampala. We're in it."

Steve said, "No, I mean, the Capitol. The building."

Immediately in front of us, a security cop stopped traffic to let a whole caravan of fancy vehicles drive by.

Steve asked, "I mean, where's the president?"

Without missing a beat, our driver answered, "THERE is the president," pointing to the car driving not ten feet from us.

It was priceless.

"Geez, Steve," Paul said. "Cool trick. Do it again. Where's my million dollars? Go on. Ask it."

In the afternoon, we visited Sanyu Orphanage but I will refrain from stories until I can post the pics. In the meantime you can check out their website: Or maybe its org. Not sure. Love you all. I'm going to bed and you're probably getting ready for lunch.

1 comment:

  1. I am walking Uganda with you in spirit! Keep posting, whenever possible! Love you much! Carrie