Friday, July 15, 2011

Muzungo! Muzungo!

"Ey, muzungo! We go, we go?!" Every boda rider, taxi driver and street peddler yells at you as you weave your way along the red clay footpaths on the side of the road. They laugh at you and clap when you finally sprint across the street after waiting for 20 minutes for a gap, only to almost get hit by a speeding boda. (Actually, that was pretty funny to see all 12 of us and the Allreds crossing at the same time.)

Being a white person in Uganda is a different sort of experience. I like it for the most part. The people here are really beautiful and mostly friendly. It's a little weird though because everyone tries to get money from you. My dad calls it being "shaken down." It makes you wonder if someone's only your friend so they can get the benefits.

Obviously, you also stand out a lot, which means you get a lot of stares. People staring at me is not my favorite thing, in fact it sort of stresses me out. I don't particularly enjoy not fitting in, but I do like being in a different place and experiencing a different culture. They have interesting cultural norms. As well as shaking you down, it's also a social no-no to eat on the street. Like you just don't walk while you eat. And they really like Obama. In fact the place where we buy our chipatis, or tortillas, is called Obama Chipati. It's got two big posters of Obama eating a chipati on the front. Not the most attractive picture of him, but very, very entertaining.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your amazing experiences, Catie! :)
    I am enjoying every little piece of it. Keep them coming!!
    Love,
    A

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  2. Thank you for commenting Auntie Analili!

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  3. Hahahaha!! Oh man, that takes me back to Brazil where they would shout "Gringo" and "Alemão." I'm glad you're getting the full experience down there. =D

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  4. Oh don't worry, there's no halvesies in Uganda. We're getting the full cold showers, electricity half the time, frequent food poisoning, fantastically adventurous experience.

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  5. Do the showers in Uganda shock you too?? In Brazil, the missionaries had these showers that would shock them, so you had to use a flip-flop to turn them on. Luckily, the mission home was better-equipped when it came to shower equipment and such.

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  6. Ha ha yes they totally shock you! Hey a flip-flop, that's a good idea. We've just been using towels, which is tricky because you have to turn the water on without getting your towel wet. Honestly though, it's a pretty minor shock and I kinda like it. Nate (the son of the other family) was the funniest about it, after his first shower he rushed out of the bathroom and exclaimed, "Mom, Dad, we need to get a shower like this at home. If our shower shocked me I'd be totally awake for seminary!"

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  7. Hahahahahaha!!!! That's genius! I had never considered its potential wake-up powers. But then again, I've never really had any problems waking up either... =D

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  8. I know right?! This kid Nate is a comic genius. You should check out his blog, it's hilarious. Yeah, you seem to be gifted in the art of waking up early.

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