Slice of Ugandan life

29 07 2010

I know it’s been a long time since my last post. I could say it’s because of the slow internet (which is true, I always get a text from my ISP that there is something wrong with the undersea fiber optic from Kenya) but it’s really because I don’t know what to blog about. Work is always very rewarding and I think my colleagues are heroes. The recent bombings in Kampala made me pray more (by the way, everyone in our office is fine although more than 70 people lost their lives in the two blasts. pray for healing) and the new norm is waiting in long lines to be searched to go inside any large store.  So since I’m all over the place, perhaps I can write slices of my Ugandan life over the last few months Twitter style.

  • Met the Archbishop of Uganda. He’s tall and pretty cool. We’re best friends
  • My mukwano gwange (beloved friend) hugged the Bible I gave him. Never seen a person so excited to receive a bible. He texted me yesterday saying he preached two awesome sermons since he got the gift (Yes, he used the word ‘awesome’)
  • Drove up to Gulu (Northern Uganda) with seven other women in the car that is only supposed to seat seven. Guess I’m beginning to be more Ugandan by shoving as many people in the car as possible.
  • Stopped by the roadside to buy machomo (beef on a stick) for .25. Surprised that I didn’t get sick.
  • Preached in a small village church during a torrential rainstorm. Had to yell the message b/c there was no sound system and the roof was made from corrugated aluminum. Felt like an old fire and brimstone preacher (don’t want to do that again, brought back bad memories of jr. high camp)
  • Spent the afternoon with my 2% Aggie friend and saw the cool things she and the company do to help women go to university
  • Finally beat my buddy Greg for the second time in tennis here in Uganda. I rubbed it in and then realized that I’m 2-30ish lifetime against him. That made me sad
  • Gain a new appreciation for football (soccer as it is called in the States) watching the World Cup. Truly fun watching my Mexican friends cheer their country’s victory over France.
  • Got proposed to by a student who helps us with our work in the village. She noticed I was wearing my ring on my right hand and immediately asked me to marry her. I asked her why she didn’t want to date the guys at her school and she said ‘the men in Uganda are polygamists’. And we flew to Vegas the next day and got married…
  • Saw some other friends who are doing great work with a company creating a market for women in Gulu to sell their jewelry.
  • Met some of the clients we helped to get their land back. Very humbled by the meeting
  • Spoke at another church and the members wanted to say ‘thank you’ so they gave me a live chicken to take home. It is very rude to not accept the chicken so I put it in the back of the car. My colleague has it and it is going to see its last days soon…. love me some grilled chicken.
  • Got my iphone stolen. Can you say upgrade? cha-ching
  • Have become an expert in dodging potholes in Uganda
  • Hailing a boda boda by raising my eyebrows is second nature
  • Still learning how to keep my dress shoes from getting covered in dirt by the time I reach the office. How do my Ugandan colleagues keep their shoes so clean.
  • Cried and inspired after listening to a message by Britt Merrick talk about his five year old daughter’s battle with cancer
  • Flew to Rwanda to see friends. So much better than sitting at the bus park for three hours then riding on a bus for ten.
  • Played with some of the children in a village and the mom wanted to take a picture of her children with a Mzungu
  • Saw huge baboons on the side of the road.
  • My fridge smells like kim-chee that went bad
  • Thinking about going to the doctor’s and buying meds to treat bel-hazaria
  • Totally forgot to take my doxy for a month to fight against malaria
  • Got excited to find broccoli at the grocery store. Made broccoli beef and pork tofu for my friends.
  • Still can’t figure out why my dry cleaning smells like wet dog
  • Hacksawed a lock on a gate in broad daylight. No one stopped me (disclaimer: we got permission from the neighbors)
  • Pulled up in a car right in front of a little boy peeing into a drainage ditch. Didn’t phase me one bit since boys and men usually pee on the side of the road (I just want to go up to them one day and tell them if they got to go to have the decency to find a bush)
  • Thankful that the King is in control even when the world seems so chaotic
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6 responses

29 07 2010
Claudia McGuire

Thanks for the update. I didn’t know kim-chee could go bad. Ever. I love the stuff. Also, after being in Brazil for 10 days, I have alot of stories about men peeing on the side of the road, buildings, cars, houses…Take care and thanks for what you are doing to make a difference in the world.

29 07 2010
O

First, how come I didn’t get invited to the wedding?!?!?
Second, don’t forget to take some safari type pictures. Everytime I mention you, Hailey says she can’t wait to see those pictures.
Third, you should let the chicken lays some eggs first before having grilled chicken.

Thankful that you are doing well. Looking forward to catching up when you get back. Let me know if you need anything.

1 08 2010
ABBY

Hola Ramon!! Que onda! Saludos desde Chihuahua, Mexico! Es bueno saber de ti, me da gusto que estes bien y que disfrutes tu trabajo en Uganda. Le pido a Dios que te bendiga y tambien a tu trabajo. Por favor saluda a Greg y Paloma de mi parte. Espero leer mas noticias tuyas pronto, hasta luego!!

1 08 2010
Patty

yeah, I’m quite disappointed that I didn’t get to sing at the wedding. Whatsup with dat!

2 08 2010
Jean

This is such a good way to give us a snapshot of your life, Ray. Thanks for all the interesting news! I would send a wedding gift, but I don’t know where you’re registered. I had a similar proposal when I was 19. I was a census taker in the back hills of Oklahoma. A swarthy lad said, “I don’t see no weddin’ rang on that fanger. Wanna marry me?” I’m glad that I held out for Mr. Rainwater.

Praying for you today, brother.
Love,
Jean

17 08 2010
Philly

Ray Ray!!!! i loved reading all these random things that’s been going on! i think that it’s incredible what you are doing! i love you buddy!

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