Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mazungo Mazungo!

That is what is shouted as we walk down the streets. Usually by small children, sometimes by their parents. It pretty much means white person. So far Uganda is hugely successful as I have not yet been hit by a boda boda (motorbike taxis).

Yesterday we spent the day "helping" one of our partners. I was first in the garden. Or small farm as I would more accurately describe it. I began work with the hoe. I did about three holes and then the poor teenager boy who was assigned to help us took it from me and handed me the bag of seeds. I planted seeds in the holes he made and then did hole covering duty. This is the bottom rung on the totem pole of garden tasks as you essentially just kick dirt into the hole filled with seeds. I also helped sort rocks for a clinic. They were using them for the floor. I didn't ask questions. I also helped pour water to mix cement. At one point the rocks I was standing on gave out and I slipped in cement. Graceful. The crowd of 10 boys aged 5-9ish laughed as though I was the Arrested Development Episode where Buster gets his hand bitten off by a sea lion (Kerstin I noted that you were my only official follower so that reference is for you).

The drive to the farm where we were working was gorgeous. Uganda is literally a jungle. The people are so kind and not as used to seeing mazungos as the people in Mukono are. We usually get one of three reactions. 1) Shy waving and smiling. 2) Frantic waving with shouts of mazungos mazungos! 3) Jaw dropped frozen in place staring. When we were at the farm one of our group members wanted to take pictures of some children playing. He was afraid the three elderly women would be annoyed with him taking the kids picture. The old women proceeded to wave the children out of the way so they could have their picture taken. It was funny.

Today we are having meetings with partners that I'll be working more with. In 15 minutes I'm leaving to meet with the headmaster of a vocational school where I'll be teaching business courses. We just had a meeting with a prep school where we'll be doing after school activities. They said we'll play basketball against their strongest team (12-15 year olds) so I'm getting excited for that match-up. I would bet 10,000 Ugandan shillings ($5) that they've never seen a mazungo girl play basketball-so the shock factor should give us an advantage at first. Also, I apologize for the lack of attention paid to grammar or spelling.


  1. Loose seal?!?!?! Lucille?!?!

  2. So, how did the basketball game go? Did the mazungo girl shock value pay off?