Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Give me your eyes so I can see everything I keep missing"

So, since I have not posted in over a month, and it is my 2 month anniversary tomorrow of being in Uganda, I am going to do a series of a few posts. 
Also, in case you were curious, most of my titles are song lyrics. This one is from a Brandon Heath song called "Give me your eyes". I thought it was fitting for a few reasons. One, God is showing me lots of things here, and only a few of them are mentioned here. Two, you can't be here to see what I have, so I am trying to share just a bit of that with you. Three, I still feel like I am God is teaching me things, so I am praying that He will give me His eyes to see all of the things around me.
Here is the first post:

Things Learned in Uganda

1. Don’t think about driving, just go. People here don’t know how to drive. It’s a mad house, but you learn, and just pray that you won’t get in an accident.
2.“You are fat.” This does not mean that you are fat. It means you are healthy looking, which could or could not mean that you are fat.
3. “You are lost.” You’ve not been around for a while, where have you been?
4. Please litter. No matter where you are, it is perfectly acceptable to throw trash on the ground, out of the window, or into the water on the lake.
5. Monkeys are not surrounding you. Contrary to popular belief in the city, those noises you hear are not monkeys. They are called “go away birds” that sound like monkeys laughing! They still make me laugh.
6. Expect to be followed. Instant celebrity. Kids will follow us to school, turn around and follow you around the city, etc.
7. Everyone poops. Ever heard of the book? Well, it applies to animals too. In fact, every morning there is more gecko and bat poop on my desk. One day, while washing my hands, a gecko even pooped on my head!
8. 10am is really 5pm. “African time” is set up so that it is 7 hours later than ours…they don’t count the night hours. Even if they know you mean western time, don’t expect them to be on time. It is not a time based society, but a relational one.
9. Tennis racquets kill. That is at least the ones that are electric and are sold for the purpose of exterminating mosquitoes.
10. Drive slowly in the rain, and after. It’s illegal to splash someone via a mud puddle with your car or boda boda (small motorcycle).
11. Cheese is costly! On average, for a pound of cheese that is good, it can cost you around $13 and up.
12. Proper greetings must be established. Everywhere you go, you must at least ask people “Hello, how are you?” and reply to them. After this you can keep walking around the store, or down the street even.
13. You are white…things will be more expensive! As missionaries here, we are fully aware that people at Friday market and dukas are over charging us (and even the super markets sometimes with the price tags). We will always barter down the prices some, but not always as far down as a Ugandan would. We know that we have some more money, and that extra bit really could be what they need, but we don’t want to be taken advantage of at the same time.
14. Never expect to find what you want. There is no such thing as one stop shopping. Even at the big grocery stores, you might find something there one day, and for the next six months it won’t show up there, or even the whole country. In short, if you see something you like- stockpile if at all possible ☺
15. Speed bumps are illegal. Most of the speed bumps in the city are dirt and put up by the people who live next to the road (even many squatters). If you want the police to do something about it, you’ve got to pay them money. Otherwise, you just deal with the crazy bumpy roads plus the speed bumps.
16. There really are millions of stars. Even in the city on a clear night, you can see more stars here than any field in the country back home. It’s breath taking!