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Five things that struck me upon arrival in Uganda

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The first picture that I took in Kampala!

1. Entebbe is really far from Detroit. I travel, A LOT! Having not been to Uganda for eight years, I forgot how long the distance between DTW and EBB is. No, it isn’t as far as Australia, but it is further than Osaka, Japan. The trip from to Entebbe on Delta/KLM was around 18.5 hours from takeoff to landing, inclusive of a 1 hour and 20 minute stopover in AMS, which was just enough time for us to make it to the other plane with only a brief stop to the bathroom.

2. 90% of the conversations my family has is in Luganda. Growing up in Detroit in a Ugandan household, I was exposed to Luganda but my parents used about a 60/40 mix, with English being the dominant language. Unfortunately I am not fluent in Luganda and my family makes me keenly aware of this fact whenever I visit. The difference this time is that neither of my sisters are here so I have no one to chat with when the conversations get intense and no one wants to translate.

3. Fresh food treats your body kindly. For nearly 40 days prior to arriving in Uganda, I did not eat meat. Everyone that I know that has done this complains of severe pain the first time they introduce meat to their body again. My reintroduction to meat came the morning after my arrival. I had a beef samosa for breakfast. I was nervous, but felt no pain. For lunch I had fried chicken and dinner included chicken stew. My stomach was absolutely fine! I also went the last two weeks with the consumption of dairy on only three days. Every time that I had dairy during that time my stomach hurt very badly and i had gas like no other. Even on the plane I experienced this. When I had my first cup of milk tea, my stomach didn’t even flench. Subsequently I have had at least five cups in the last three days and I have had no side effects. I attribute this to all of the meat and milk here being super fresh and “organic”, though they don’t label it as such, since everything just is!

4. I see life as a series of Instagram pictures. Sadly, my addiction to Instagram has now colored my life. I had always seen the world as a series of still images, but now, everything that I see and do, I imagine as an Instagram post and even think of captions. The sad part of this is that my brain does more Instagramming than the app on my phone.

5. My accent makes me a mzungu. Aside from the fact that I am not fluent in Luganda, my American accent does not help when I am in the market or talking to my family. I am often dismissed as a “mzungu”, which in East Africa means white person. The longer I am here, the more I realize that I need to adjust my accent if anyone is going to understand me.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Ah, this post takes me back to my summer in Uganda! Although my skin was brown like everyone else, as soon as I opened my mouth I instantly became a mzungu hehe

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