Friday, June 13, 2014

Life in Uganda

We have been in Uganda for a little over 2 months.  Quite frankly I was ready to come, but had no concept of what it was like here.  I am sure that some of you are very curious about what our daily life is like, so, I will happily let you know.

First of all we are living in Kampala, Uganda.  Kampala is the capital of Uganda so it is much like any city in the world.  Building upon building, nice areas, bad areas, malls, restaurants, hotels, large churches, and jams (short for traffic jams).  

Upon arrival at the Entebee airport we walked down to customs and then out to claim our baggage we walked through a hallway with windows to our left.  On the other side of the windows were Ugandan faces staring at all the muzungus (white people) coming into their city.  I remember being startled and a bit frightened at first and felt a little like an exhibit at the zoo.  However, God immediately quickened my spirit and I thought, “Joanna you are here to love these people, not be frightened by them.”   My experiences from that moment on have been positive.

Our day starts off with coffee and whatever breakfast item we have available.  Sometimes it’s a boiled egg, a banana, or toast; just like we would do at home in the US.  We then have a 30 minute walk to work at the babies home.  On our walk we see many other walkers, bodas (motorcycle taxies), bicycles, and lots of cars.  The people we see are usually very quiet until greeted then they respond in a very friendly matter.  Some people upon seeing a new muzungu face will boldly state, “You are most welcome!”  The first time I heard this I thought, “hmm, I never said thank you…”, but what they are saying is “Welcome to Uganda!” 

As we walk we hear many tooting horns from the cars and bodas.  Ugandans love to use their vehicle horns.  And mostly they use them to say, “Move it!” Lol!  Driving here is very chaotic, but somehow it works for them.  I just sit back relax and tell myself the driver knows what he is doing.  I have only been genuinely scared while driving two times in the two months we’ve been here.  Also on our walk we see the men riding bicycles with passengers on the back.  I believe the bicycles here are also used as a taxi service. When they are not carrying passengers they are often seen using their bikes to haul goods such as 50 woven foot stools, or 10 4x6 boards, or whatever else you can imagine while they walk and push their bicycle.  The boda drivers carry much different loads, such as a whole family unit sitting behind them.  “Are you serious?” you ask, YES!  We have seen as many as 5 people on one boda.  Crazy.

In the vehicles you often see large trucks carrying 50+ security guards to their posts in the mornings.  In the car babies are carried on laps, unless the family has enough money for a car seat, and while walking babies are carried on the backs of their mothers.  I personally love seeing their little faces bobbing around behind their mother and their little feet sticking out in front beside their mommy’s ribs.  Young girls often carry their small siblings this way too.  Another thing you see women and children carrying are things on their head.  Yes, they still do this here in the city.  Although, here in the city when you see them carrying things on their heads it is mostly things they are trying to sell.  They carry bananas, roasted corn on the cob, muffins, mangos, etc.  There are also ladies who work for the city and sweep the street with whisk brooms.  I hate sweeping the side walk with a regular broom let alone bending over and sweeping a long street with a short broom.  I have the utmost respect for the work these ladies do and try to say thank you every time I see them.

Well, this post is getting a little long so stay tuned for more!

I pray you are all doing well. 

Love, Joanna

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