We haven’t been in Uganda that long, just 7 weeks, but we have made some observations about this place, people, and culture. Some of them are super funny and some of our observations have helped us from losing our mind. Once we gain more of an understanding of some of these lessons learn it has helped grow our love for Uganda. It is also allowing us to just laugh when we would normally be frustrated. We thought it would be fun to share our list with you and maybe update it later as we are 100% sure there will be many more lessons to learn.
- The word yes is replaced with the sound “mmm”…sometimes it can also mean no or I am still listening to you or I am thinking about it.
- A Rolex is not a watch. It is a delicious street food that is similar to a burrito filled with eggs.
- When you honk your horn (or hooter) it has about as many meanings as the sound”mmmm” and none of them are rude. It is more of a jester letting you know that I am driving down the street.
- Electricity is not guaranteed and you must know at all times where the candles and flashlights are
- “Food” is referring to the starch you eat at a meal. Uganda has posho (thick grit like cakes), rice, matooke (mashed up plantains), cassava and a variety of potatoes that make up 80% of your meal.
- Gnuts are actually small peanuts and they are delicious!
- No matter how angry someone looks, if you say hello they will absolutely smile and greet you.
- Greetings are very important! Everyone you meet will say hello, ask how you are doing, ask how your family is doing, how your day is going, etc. Greetings are important and not rushed!
- Sharing is a part of daily life.
- A phone call trumps everything else. You could be in the middle of performing a medical procedure on someone and if your phone rings you stop to answer it. (I saw this very thing happen last week)
- If you want something done you call the person, you do not text them.
- There is no such thing as personal space. If you don’t like to be touched NEVER come to this country.
- Chicken on a stick (another fast food, street food) can make any situation better. People get giddy over this special treat.
- Your car breaking down in the middle of no where or getting stuck in mud is a part of life. Don’t worry about it but enjoy this time to chat with friends, laugh together, and wait for help.
- Music is life and never stops playing.
- Fast internet means you might be able to download a Netflix show if no one else is on the internet.
- Lizards and bugs are like extra roommates. You don’t bother them and they won’t bother you.
- You don’t point with your fingers. You point with your lips. It’s pretty hilarious the first time you see it.
- If you eat dinner at your friends you better take a picture to show your wife. She might wonder why you aren’t hungry for her food and think some other woman has been feeding you. (This literally happened last week at our house)
- You shouldn’t get mad when things don’t happen in the time or manner you thought they should. Anger and demanding tones get you NOWHERE here. Laughter, long conversations, and patiences is like sweet honey.
- Learn to laugh at yourself and others. Everyone else will surely be laughing when you do something stupid so join in, they love it.
- If you are in a hurry you should stay home and out of traffic. It is better for your soul!
- Be ready to take your shoes off multiple times a day.
- The supermarket has everything you could need, just not when you need it.
- If you need to buy something specific or have a specific job done, I have a guy that knows a guy that can get a guy to come meet you to talk about it.
Oh the joys, struggles, fun, and challenges of living in Uganda!
If you would like to see pictures of daily life and regularly experience some of these lessons learned you must go follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
https://www.instagram.com/causing_wonder/ – Mac’s Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/solehope/ – Sole Hope