Friday, May 11, 2012

Touching the whitey, local market, and those smiles

Insanity--not the workout, my life.  I'm about to sucker punch you in the face with different blurbs about today that have blown my mind for different reasons.  Here it goes:
  • I slept like a ruby jewel last night.  Okay, false.  I really had to go to the bathroom and was feeling nervous about the "if it's yellow, let it mellow" rule so I decided I was going to hold it until morning. haha So besides that, I fell asleep pretty quickly and slept very well.
  • This morning, my shower was burrilicious.  First of all, I think I mentioned it a wee bit before, but when you're washing your hair under the cold drizzling water, you're literally looking out an uncurtained window two feet in front of you that has a view of the backyard slash jungle.  (how crazy that my backyard is the jungle!?  I love that.)  I'm less certain, however, about how I feel about random passersby checking out the mzungu nudity that our house is rocking.  While it's kind of awkward, I kind of think it's hilarious.  Who has a little jungle in their backyard and limited privacy?  Kinda cool??  Right?
  • Breakfast rocked my world.  Freshly cut pineapple.  I feel like the pineapple back home was a sham because I had even just brushed my teeth and the pineapple was nothing but mouth watering.  Mmmm.  And a fresh banana.  Goodness me, please bless that there's large amounts of fresh african fruit in my future because it's incredible.
  • We went on a scavenger hunt that our country directors prepared for us.  It was a solid good time actually.  We had things like, "find the clock tower in town, take a picture with live chickens, find "Happy Market", find the hospital, find out what a rolex is, etc".  It was actually so great.  I've only seen the town from a bus so being able to walk throughout town and actually interact with the people has been marvelous.
  •  We found the live chickens for the scavenger like the back alley of the market place. haha
    I love this moment so much.  These guys on the boda boda are transporting that bed frame.  Yes, they literally have it sideways and are driving with it that way.  I was dying. haha
    • First thing that I loved is walking to town.  Seriously, I feel like in the States we don't walk anywhere.  But we took like a thirty minute walk into town and I loved every second.  There are no sidewalks, the potholes on the streets are gargantuan, and they drive on the left side of the road here.  
    • Originally we didn't get too much attention.  In fact, people didn't really look at us and if they did it was really quick and then they'd look away.  
    • Once we got into town things changed.  They're definitely not as aggressive as the people in europe.  But they say "hi, how are you?" but don't follow you or anything.  If you don't want to talk to them or something, they get that and leave you alone.
    • The kids are so darling.  I can't even handle how cute they are.  I'm worried that I annoy everyone around me because every time I see little Ugandan kids I start gushing.  They're the cutest things.  At one point during our discovery of Mbale, I felt a human...something...brush my arm.  I turned to look and it was a little kid that has touched my arm and then ran around the corner. haha Yes, I'm actually this color...all the time.  The fascination with it is hilarious to me because while the color of my complexion is frowned upon in the States, it's a touchable fascination to them here.
    • It started raining for like 30 minutes in the afternoon.  Everyone just crowds under the canopy's over the markets and waits it out.  We were trying to find the police station (for the scavenger hunt) and we saw a white truck with, not joking, 25 men standing/hanging out of the back of it.  I couldn't even believe it.  We were laughing because it was just so out of the ordinary and random.
    • We found a market!!  I love markets!  The one in Florence rocked my world every time I went there.  In fact, I had a hard time not smiling like a git with every cobble stone footstep.  Well this market was cool but sooo not the Florence market.  It was like a block of tiny little wooden booths selling all kind of stuff.  Skirts, jewelry, live chickens, fish that looked like they had been awkwardly lit on fire--I honestly think my poor immune system would be completely a-bombed if I put any part of those in my mouth.  I would have taken pics but it was kind of a sketchy part of town.  

  • Besides the fact that so many things were really cool about today, a lot of things were so shocking.  I see things that I can't even believe.  I walk by things that are normal to everyone else that are just impossible for me to comprehend. 
    •  Passing women who've had polio so they crawl and have shoes on their hands.
    •  Little children walking around by themselves barefoot, wearing a simple dress or boys in overalls with no shirt.  
    • We saw one woman who had buckets and was collecting the rain and saving it.
    • Just mass amounts of poverty.  I can't even describe what I saw and even as I was there seeing it, I couldn't even believe it.  They burn their garbage at night--there are no garbages around town.  It's dirty.  Often times I would watch people walk by, I'd turn and look and see their tiny frame was much smaller and frail than the clothes they were wearing.
  • One thing that I found fascinating is that people walk around with very straight faces.  It's almost alarming honestly.  I guess I'm just a very expressive, smiley person but they have very blank expressions--even when they look at you.  But as soon as you smile at them, they smile back and I think I can confidently say that Ugandans--of any age--have the best smiles I've ever seen.  Their smiles light up their entire faces and it's seriously the most beautiful thing I've seen.  I love it.  And I love being here.  


  1. you amaze me. what a fantastic experience you are having. will you please please bring me back a darling little black child?? just tuck one in your suitcase when you leave. I'm totally not kidding.

  2. K Mal, not to knock your wonderfully descriptive writing (because I can truly see what you are describing), but I really need some photos. You are awesome! Keep on posting! Still living my dream vicariously through you!

  3. This is going to be such a great summer if we get a blog and pictures from you every day. It helps us enjoy what you are doing instead of just missing you. I especially like that you added the pictures. Make sure you are in some too, maybe a little ebony and ivory picture. Love you!

  4. I concur with all previous comments. I loved the pix and can't wait to see more. Your writing is wonderful and makes me feel like I'm there...which I love and kinda breaks my heart at the same time. And I second the request for my own little black child. I promise I'd take REALLY good care of him or her!
    Glad your immune system is holding up so far and that the food you've sampled is so delish!