Mzungu Memoirs

You Know You’ve Lived in Africa When…

1.  You feel spending three hours to pay two utility bills is a productive afternoon.

2.  Dodging potholes, pedestrians, cows, goats, motorcycles, and three cars coming toward you on a two lane street seems normal.

3.  You consider restaurant food in less than two hours to be “fast food”.

4.  You cannot greet a total stranger without saying “Hello, how are you?”

5.  The sound of out-of-tune Christmas music on the move means an ice cream vendor is nearby.

6.  Directions often include speed humps and boda stages.

7.  Haggling in markets is a joy.

8.  You have seen more passengers on a boda than most cars will hold.

9.  You think paying the equivalent of a quarter for an enormous avocado is too much but $6 for a small chicken is a deal.

10.  Trees are known by the fruit they bear.

11.  You have stood a mile from an urban downtown on a sunny day and could not see any buildings.

12.  You wonder if that fever is malaria.

13.  The number of lanes available on a street depends on the width of the sidewalks.

14.  You have gone to bed on a flat mattress and awoken in a mattress bowl.

15.  70 degrees F feels a bit chilly.

16.  Four to six water leaks in your neighborhood at any given time seems normal.

17.  Weddings can last for days.

18.  You can have fresh fish delivered and filleted at your door, but it takes a week to find suitable hardware to fix that door.

19.  It is summer year-round.

20.  You feel like you know what the fish at the doctor’s office feel like, i.e. ”the fishbowl effect”.

21.  You feel unusually blessed having power two nights in a row.

22.  You have received a mobile phone text at least a day after it was sent.

23.  You wonder if you live in a testing ground for automotive horns.

24.  You have seen locals don parkas, wool caps and gloves when it dips below 70 degrees F.

25.  Ants, flies and other insects in the house don’t seem so bad if you have not had cockroaches or bats lately.

26.  You have ever spent 30 minutes of indirect communication to be asked the real question.

27.  You think many dirt roads are smoother than the paved ones.

28.  You have ever seen a pothole on a speed hump.

29.  You know to call the water company when you awake to a new water feature in your yard.

30.  The boys next door that come to play are fascinated with your indoor plumbing.

31.  Daily plant growth is measurable.

32.  You consider Christmas the hottest time of the year.

33.  You have seen at least five directions of traffic on a two lane road.

34.  Celebrations often involve the slaughter of a cow, goat, lamb or chicken.

35.  There are at least six varieties of bananas.

36.  You have ever witnessed a boda play “Frogger” to cross six lanes of a major intersection.

37.  You have ever spent a week trying to get an e-mail to go through.

38.  You think a two-hour church service is pretty short.

39.  You have seen/heard traveling radio stations on lorry trucks.

40.  You see tremendous hope for Africa and pray for God’s Kingdom to continue growing.

posted by Robert in Uncategorized and have Comments (6)

6 Responses to “You Know You’ve Lived in Africa When…”

  1. Especially relate to 1, 23 and 37! Love these 😉

  2. niels says:

    I actually came here because I was looking for a photo of a post bus coach. I loved those when I first came to Uganda.. roasted bananas where the best :) I love your “You feel unusually blessed having power two nights in a row.” – I live in Switzerland now and whenever my internet goes off like once in half a year I get angry and then remember how it was back in 2011 when I was in Uganda for one year :)

  3. Alex says:

    Oli otya!? I came across this while trying to search for a place to get a new Cranes jersey, and I can’t believe how happy this makes me and how true this particular post is! So to you I say Weebale! This all makes me miss my time in Kampala so so much! My favorite was when our friends taught us the song Bamuyta Yesu… God’s Kingdom is growing so amazingly in Uganda.

  4. Nicole Okiring says:

    I just happened upon your site when googling Kampala International Church and reading this post made me laugh out loud, especially the ice cream vendor playing Christmas music! Hear that about once a week. Seems you have left Uganda now? Well, blessings on your next adventure! Thanks for the post. :)

  5. Valerie Bransdorfer says:

    That was Great, and Sooo true!!

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