VERY IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW WHEN TRAVELING TO UGANDA
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.
- 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.
- ‘Apwoyo’, the Acholi word for ‘thank you’, sounds very much like their word for ‘bunny’.
- Ugandan baboons are not the same as chimpanzees.
- Ugandan rats are NOT geckos.
- Duct tape is a great way to fix mosquito nets – or 1,000 other uses.
- Three lines through a speed limit sign mean you can actually resume the original speed.
- Ugandans drive on the left side – or wherever there is a narrow opening.
- A boda boda (moped) can hold up to five people at the same time…plus a chicken.
- Elephants will kill you for alcohol.
- If you throw a rock at a monkey in a mango tree, it will throw a mango back at you.
- If you admire a mango in a tree, a young boy will most likely climb it and throw several down to you.
- A toilet can be a hole in the ground.
- Ugandan women can carry a baby on their back and a jug of water on their head while walking barefoot through deeply rutted streets.
- Wave at a Ugandan and you will receive a huge smile in return and the greeting of ‘You are welcome’.
- Chicken tastes better when cooked over an open fire pit.
- The presence of light switches doesn’t always mean there are lights.
- Be sure to eat an avocado every day!
- The best modeling clay is found in a swamp.
- One small library can provide the only source of books for an entire village.
- It can take 2 ½ hours to drive 70km over a red rutted dirt road.
- 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!
- It is possible to keep 12 adults at a staff meeting fully engaged using the book ‘Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See?”
- Big scary spiders like books, too!
- 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.
- When a guest comes to your home, give them the best of your food, no matter what it costs you.