I did not anticipate how much time I would spend in a car traveling to and from Kampala with the driver George.Â George is the most patient and calm Ugandan man that I have ever met.Â Which is ironic because Ugandan drivers are extremely aggressive and the vast majority of drivers whip around people and push their way into your lane.Â Ugandans drive on the left side of the road.Â The majority of the population does not drive because cars are too expensive and public transport is avaliable.Â The UMC Conference has arranged for the interns to have a car.Â 4 people sharing 1 car and driver does not always work out… we’ll see what else can be arranged in the next few weeks.
It is very strange to be driven around everywhere… it reminds me of the play, “Driving Miss. Daisy.”Â Not just in the fact that I am driven around… but the fact that there are stereotypes of musungus and Africans who drive musungus.
I have seen traffic lights in Uganda, but no one follows them so you have to have a police officer, dressed in all white and called â€œthe white men,â€ direct traffic.Â People turn off their cars and wait it gets so jammed in areas.Â George allows other cars to get in the lane and is always cautious.
As I mentioned before, there is one main road and one â€œby-passâ€ road.Â The main road is filled with jams and the by-pass is filled with police officers that will stop you for the smallest infraction.Â We were pulled over once (which is more like a person in a white uniform waving waving his/her hand at you from the side of the road).Â George had passes a truck going 5 miles per hour in a non-passing zone (ha haâ€¦ everywhere in Uganda is a passing zone!).Â He told them that he didnâ€™t have any money.Â They said that the musungus could pay.Â Culture note: In Uganda if you have white skin, it is assumed that you have lots of money.Â He said that these musungus are students and that they donâ€™t have any money.Â And the police officer let us go!
George grew up in Western Uganda, so he speaks a different language than Luganda which is spoken in Kampala area.Â He never went to formal school, but taught himself English.Â Last Saturday night it was planned for me to go to Nabulagala UMC to worship on Sunday morning.Â The car needed to be serviced, so they were trying to find another means of transport to church.Â George received a phone call from Vincent saying, the group from Texas at the hotel in Seeta has room for Nancy.Â So George told me that I would be staying at the hotel in Seeta and go to church with them.Â I arrived at the hotel and went in to find the group leader, whom I had briefly met a few nights ago.Â He said that he did not have a room for me to stay, but he could figure it out if he needed.Â I went back out to George.Â He had just ended a phone call with Vincent and realized that the â€œroomâ€ they had for me was on the bus in the morning!Â They have roomâ€¦ not â€œaâ€ room!Â Ha ha haâ€¦ So he took me home, picked me up in the morning, and dropped me off at the hotel to go with them to church.
I have learned a lot asking George questions about things that I see.Â He usually asks what things are like in the states after he explains.Â Things you might see on the road:Â People selling sugar cane and time cards for your cell phone.Â Cattle frequently walk on the side of the road.Â There are small mopeds called boda-bodas and they weave in and out of traffic like racecars.Â Women ride â€œside saddleâ€ on the back.Â You will also see them carrying anything from pineapples, wounded people headed to the emergency room (itâ€™s the fastest way to travel), wooden planks that sit horizontal on the back of the seat â€“ and they still weave in and out of traffic!, jugs of oil or water, furniture, and pretty much anything that needs to be taken from point A to point B.Â The stores are like open garages with about 4 feet of space to paint an advertisement â€“ the name of the store is not relevant the advertisement is always bright, painted with detail and usually corresponds with what they might sell inside.
OKâ€¦ My next blog will be about the AMAZING WOMEN I HAVE MET!!Â I can not upload music or pictures because uploading and downloading information with my modem is difficultâ€¦ but I will tell you all about it!!!