I wrote all these random word lists in my journal so that I wouldn't forget things. I'll write about some of them in this post, just for something different.
Asanti-sana! Whenever someone does something wonderful or generous, or people are generally grateful, they sing, "Asanti-sana!" and clap in a rhythm, then open their hands toward the person. The person who is receiving that love crosses her arms over her chest indicating her reception of that love and appreciation.
Mosquito bites - I left Uganda with 7 mosquito bites. I am tossing around the idea of getting tested for malaria just in case, but I actually feel intuitively like I'm probably fine.
Ugandan pizza - One night we went over to the volunteer house to eat dinner with Jamilah, Sara, Hazuki and Madeline. They asked us what we wanted and we said, "Please, no more matoke!" and negotiated to get a sort of pizza made. Jamilah is amazing! We had a doughy crust and Hazuki made short work of many types of veggies and put them together in this spicy, tomato-y sauce which we poured over the bread, and then had pineapple to top it off. No cheese, it wasn't baked, but it was absolutely wonderful nonetheless!
Giant Flying Bugs - There are these giant (I mean, 2-3" long) flying bugs. They look like crazy wasps from space. They're black and they sort of bungle along and smack into windows and thankfully, don't come too near us. I watched the Ugandans to see how they reacted, I figured I'd trust them. They weren't phased by them which... yeah. I was phased. But only on the inside. On the outside, I pretended they didn't exist. I'm sure if they'd noticed me, I'd have lost an eyeball to their giant stingers or whatever pointy thing was at their back end.
Craving American Food - I don't think I craved American food until it was time to leave. I really, really let go and surrendered to the flow of things, food included. I ate whatever was presented to me, with a full heart- even though we'd paid for the food and the delivery of it, it never occurred to me that it was anything but a heart gift from the Ugandan folk who were receiving us and caring for us. As we started to wind toward our flight, I realized I really, really wanted a hamburger. REALLY. We got to the airport at Entebbe and even though I was still quite sick, I was feeling well enough that I scoped out the cafeteria and saw they had "Beef patties" or some other obscure thing and I got really excited. Kelli saw me drooling and shook me hard, saying, "PLEASE don't eat the beef, Kristina, PLEASE!"
Well, if you insist.
Boda bodas and babies - And the mothers ride the what? The motorcycle. Mothers heading into town or home from work or where ever mamas go, who choose to ride the boda boda, sit side saddle with their babies in their laps. Little babies bundled in blankets are also held in arms inside cars racing down the street among bicycles carrying jerry cans or many people, boda-bodas and the many, many pedestrians.
Shops - Many shops are the size equivalent of a garden shed. At night, you'll see the doors thrown wide open and a single candle lit within while packets of things are draped on string back and forth across the width of the structure. So fascinating.
Black mambas - I didn't know there were black mambas in Uganda until some kids found one in the bush. I assume that it was dead when they found it, otherwise, they killed it. A black mamba. For realz.
Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! - Soooo yeah. We stayed at the Entebbe WIldlife Preserve and we sort of hung out in the restaurant a lot. Our waiter, this incredibly gorgeous man named Abel took excellent care of our troupe that two days. We ate lots of food and drink many beers- especially that first night. I'm not sure how much I drank. I remember feeling like I was being too loud and self-imposing 10 minutes of silence upon myself which helped me to slow down my thinking and to let other people talk once in a while. When we decided we were done with the restaurant we had to walk back to our bandas through the preserve. The animals are largely caged but there is no lighting on the road, you're just walking and hoping for the best. Especially when you're six large beers deep. My good friends Bobby and Ildiko each let me take an arm and we skipped down the road chanting, "Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!" much to my endless delight! I was very tickled to be able to do this at full volume - that was until we ran into the French tourist who was also walking back to his banda. Doh!