Sunday, July 22, 2007

Coles Notes on Life in Uganda

Here are some little things that would have made our transition to life here a touch easier if we knew them before hand!

- when you need to susu (pee) don't count on a nice white tile bathroom, count on a hole in the ground, a weird cement trough urinal, an empty side street, the side of the highway or- if your lucky, a pitch black 'normal' toilet stall with no seat, no TP, the foulest smell alive, and a jump rope cable dangling from the tank sitting 5 feet up the wall behind you that might flush if you yank it enough times.
-it's totally normal to see various forms of poultry in your compound and for them to make wicked noise at ungodly hours.
- your not a christian if your are baptist or don't attend 'overnights' (10pm to 6am) prayer meetings every friday plus church on sundays, home cell on tuesdays and fellowship on thursdays
- have a cold, cough or an infection? its acutally called 'a little bit of malaria' and if you acutally have malaria, you call it malaria too and you can look forward to about 2 bouts of it per year.
- medicine in pill form are called tabs
- white girls get to look forward to a really sweet kissing sound as they pass men- dont worry though- it translates from lugandan to mean " your a mzungu and i want a mzungu friend"
- your not pretty, your smart
- your not smart, your clever
- you dont get food for take out, you get food for take away
- if you want take away juice, you get it in a plastic bag knotted at thetop and you bite a small hole in the bottom and suck thejuice out.
- you dont go on the internet or check youremail, you surf or browse
-EVERY price is negotiable.
- you dont barter, you barGAIN
- taking a small child on the back of a motorcycle, sitting side saddle is normal and even safe. taking a bicycle and sitting side saddle over the back tire with a kid is even safter but runs the risk of A) having to get apush start as bodamen laugh at how fat you are B)have to get off at a a particularly steep part ofa hill because its acutally faster for you to walk or C) almost pass out because of the smell that emits from a man who's been biking up hills all day in the blazing african sun and doesnt wear deoderant.
- its normal to go to a resturant, ask your server about a dish thats on the menu and have them stare blankly at you and tell you they've never heard of it and so you just order tea for dinner once again.
-when asking if you like something, ppl will say "do you take....." not do you like....
- you dont smoke, you puff
- your not scared of things,you fear them
- its not hurting you, its paining you
- cooking on a 1 element gas stove outside is luxurious and a super white thing to do since 98% of the populaion doesnt use refrigeration and they cook on charcoal or with parafin
- the following items are best and most easily transported on the back of a boda bicycle 1) small children 2) 4x2 wooden shelf units ...4 at a time 3) 2 twin sized beds standing lengthwise and tied with bits of rubber 4)small fridges...big ones are best suited to wheelbarrows 5) TV's
- Benny HInn is a miracle man who attracts more ppl to his crusades in uganda than nelson mandella and you will deeply offend anyone who you tell that benny hinn is really a money laundering crook.
- the singer R. Kelley is a pedophile in america but in uganda he's a much loved gospel singer
- the majority of people will answer you by saying FINE to your hello.
- a package of pure glucose is a normal snack for small children (a litteral package of PURE glucose)
- its safe and totally legal to have a ride at a fair be made out of rotten wood and rusty steel. A big swing like at west edmonton mall, swing of the century style. this one has about 20 too many seats and probably about 500 llbs over capacity but its packed none the less with people bumping into eachother for the price of 30 cents a turn. YOu sit in your bucket seat thats hanging 6 inches off the floor of the ride, (10 feet orso off theground) and you just pray that your legs dont get mangled on the jagged rusty steel like the people in front of you and it almost makes you thankful for your updated tetanus shot.
- don't be alarmed if you see a man on the ground, surrounded by 15 other guys who are beating him up because he stole and he should have expected thiswould happen.
- children will hold any manner of nasty cockroaches, praying mantises, poisionous toads, geckos, snakes or huge dragon flies, but if a dog comes around or they see a stuffed animal, they will scream bloody murder.
- some weights can be measured in terms of small puppies
-there is no distinction between between male of female in coversation. you are called either this one/that one or guay meaning you.
- its logical to have street lights on during the day and off at night.
- driving downhill is called sloping
- you dont turn down the volume, you decrease it. and you dont shove over or move down, you extend or push up.

this is just a little funny post for all you! we're doing fine and having blast still!!
love amy and bethie


Scott and Erin said...

This might be the best thing i've ever read, except the Bible of course :) It makes me homesick for my favorite place and my babies and all my African friends... i love you girls even though I've never actually met you, and I am praying for your sweet adventure! -- Erin

Rachel and Arielle said...

That was great, Ames! I can't wait to get back there and ride my OWN smelly boda, pee on a slanted floor, eat a gourmet dinns of rolex and roasted maize, and see all our babies, of course! Good old Jinjer...
But, excuse me please... where is our picture of Katie???!!! I need to see her chubby, adorable face!
We tried to call yesterday but for some reason it wouldn't work...
Keep up the good work girls!
Love you!

Rachel and Arielle said...

yeah where is Katie at? And Victor? Um Hi????

"Mama Rose" said...

Thank you for sharing that piece of Ugandan culture. It was so funny! You write very well...

I was hoping to hear an update on Phin??

xo Monika

Jeremy Wat said...

I forgot how funny you two can be. I loved the "Coles Notes on Life..." It made my day. I hope you're both doing well!