By Lori Taetz

During my stay in Uganda, I learned some useful facts.  You might call them TRIVIA. I prefer to call them USEFUL THINGS TO KNOW. Here is my non exhaustive list. Some of the information was told to me by my Ugandan friends, and some information is a product of personal experience. Feel free to use it when planning your next trip to East Africa.

  1. Ugandan shillings have pictures of Gorillas on them. Don’t be concerned when you have to spend 3,000 shillings on a soda. It equals about $1.50.
  2. ‘Apwoyo’, the Acholi word for ‘thank you’, sounds very much like their word for ‘bunny’.
  3. Ugandan baboons are not the same as chimpanzees.
  4. Ugandan rats are NOT geckos.
  5. Duct tape is a great way to fix mosquito nets – or 1,000 other uses.
  6. Three lines through a speed limit sign mean you can actually resume the original speed.
  7. Ugandans drive on the left side – or wherever there is a narrow opening.
  8. A boda boda (moped) can hold up to five people at the same time…plus a chicken.
  9. Elephants will kill you for alcohol.
  1. If you throw a rock at a monkey in a mango tree, it will throw a mango back at you.
  2. If you admire a mango in a tree, a young boy will most likely climb it and throw several down to you.
  3. A toilet can be a hole in the ground.
  4. Ugandan women can carry a baby on their back and a jug of water on their head while walking barefoot through deeply rutted streets.
  5. Wave at a Ugandan and you will receive a huge smile in return and the greeting of ‘You are welcome’.
  6. Chicken tastes better when cooked over an open fire pit.
  7. The presence of light switches doesn’t always mean there are lights.
  8. Be sure to eat an avocado every day!
  9. The best modeling clay is found in a swamp.
  10. One small library can provide the only source of books for an entire village.
  11. It can take 2 ½ hours to drive 70km over a red rutted dirt road.
  12. Don’t expect anyone at the medical clinic to know where the toilet is, and when you find it, don’t have any expectations at all!
  13.  It is possible to keep 12 adults at a staff meeting fully engaged using the book ‘Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See?”
  14. Big scary spiders like books, too!
  15. If you meet someone in Uganda for the first time who has the same name as you, the younger person has to buy the older one a chicken.
  16. When a guest comes to your home, give them the best of your food, no matter what it costs you.