Days in Africa (Part 2)

The previous list got too long for one post, so I thought it would be fun to continue the differences we’ve discovered so far. And the interesting thing is that most of these realizations are day-to-day living and not even cultural differences. Those would need many more posts and would still be hard to find the words to express… We hope you enjoy getting a glimpse into our new world. It’s been a fun adventure!

  • Forgetting to turn on the hot water heater with enough time to be able to IMG_7213have a warm shower or turning on the water for a few minutes to run most of the brown water out.
  • Frustrating days when you feel like you’ve been rushing around, going to different places to get one thing done, especially when the one thing still doesn’t get done because you’re waiting on someone or something… And how much joy one episode of any tv show brings after a long, discouraging, exhausting day.
  • Strange looks at Jez when she’s with us in the car and they check the car for security purposes. Many Ugandans are scared of dogs.
  • Internet and text messaging blocked during the presidential election…
  • Adalyn throws avocados and coconuts12670445_10153522906618068_2600532543894610444_n to the dogs like they’re balls and pretends her ball is an avocado.
  • Always bring a snack, water & travel toilet paper wherever you go because you never know how long you’re going to have to wait or what the toilet will be like. Also, our definition of a “clean potty” has drastically changed!
  • Ugandan customs officials are mesmerized by the stuff brought by Americans – like a scale, craft stuff, deodorant, kitchen gadgets, pillows and so much more. When going through our shipping container, there was a 10-minute break so all of the workers could weigh themselves.
  • Having 4 different people pounding on things in 4 different parts of your IMG_5782house gets to be too much to think.
  • Cabinet work is done by hand and built at your house and that takes longer than the 3 days he said it would but well worth it!
  • Having a guy break glass in your house to fix a window and not clean it up…
  • Paint mixed to look like the original color but only guarantees 98% accuracy and is still off. Luckily, it’s still subtle in our house but others aren’t so lucky.IMG_6564
  • Having 5 different kinds of tile in one bathroom made us count how many different tiles we have in our 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom house, which totals 18. =)
  • Telling workers you don’t want them to do a project and come back 10 minutes later to find them still doing it, or having someone build something with an exact plan and it’s still very different. The joy of miscommunication!
  • Even simple things like hanging curtains are so difficult and frustrating. The concrete walls are NOT made to hang things!
  • Cleaning and unpacking (or doing anything) in jeans is a bad idea – too hot!
  • Kids playing in dirt is a universal pastime.
  • Ugandan men & women are stronger because they do things manually, like carry logs on their heads for long distances…
  • Adalyn helping sweep with a “mini” broom that Ugandans use. This is one of her favorite times.
  • You start to ignore being stared at and called mzungu everywhere you go, but we are still learning to deal with being charged extra or expected to give money because we’re white.
  • Discussion of what to do with pastor who had two wives & Christians who practice witch craft. These were not part of our ACU education!
  • Finding out one of our guards grew up in the shadows of LRA in his area and had friends who were taken as child soldiers.
  • Conversations with guards & house worker about job expectations while trying to communicate across cultures. And the fact that we even have security guards because there’s no use in IMG_5841calling the police in an emergency. There is no 911… that’s a foreign concept to our American brains.
  • Discussing and sometimes laughing about the differences in culture with Ugandans and realizing how everything is so different…
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