A Very Belated Day 11...Cont'd

Today was definitely a whirlwind. I started off feeling frightened and homesick, and ended the day on a very high note.

I arrived at my homestay after school, and just like every other day was greeted by excited little African children, all wanting to hold my hand. It occurred to me today that contrary to popular belief, I don’t actually dislike children. I think I just dislike spoiled American children. Guess that means I’ll have to adopt me some beautiful black babies!

I dropped my backpack off in my room and my Mama came in to ask me about my day and let me know she had my bath water ready for me. After I bathed, tea was waiting for me, as usual in the living room. I usually have afternoon tea right around 7, then dinner anytime after 9. I usually get slices of buttered bread, peanuts, bananas or scrambled eggs with my tea, but today it was 2 boiled eggs.

After tea I sat in the living room until dinner with my host father listening to Obama’s inauguration on the radio. It’s a scene I hope I never forget- I was huddled next to a small radio trying to decipher Obama’s speech through static and Luganda translators in front of a hurricane lamp. Being in Uganda has definitely made me appreciate the American government; especially because I’m learning just how corrupt the Ugandan government is. Ugandans will tell you- it’s astonishing to see a peaceful transition of power, like what we’ve witnessed in the U.S since every Ugandan President since Independence has come to power through a military coup. Can you imagine if that were the case in the U.S?! It gives you an idea of just how far Uganda has to come, politically speaking.

Anyway, it was a very powerful feeling listening to Obama. I feel like I almost appreciate his election more being in an African context than if I were still home. So, since I haven’t done this in awhile, maybe I’ll leave off with some more African observations for your viewing pleasure:

  1. Hand-holding is not a romantic thing in Uganda. Instead of shaking hands, Ugandans will just grab your hand and hold it. It’s also a way to show a close relationship, and it’s quite common to see two Ugandan men walking and talking together holding hands. It’s adorable!
  2. I still haven’t figured out what children belong to whom in my host family. Most African families take care of children that aren’t biologically related to them.
  3. You can definitely see the effects of colonialism in certain places within society. Such as the very regular breakfast and evening tea.
  4. Bathing out of a bucket (even with all my hair) is not that bad.
  5. Ugandan’s concept of time is definitely NOT as strict as in the U.S. It doesn’t matter if you’re late for a class, because the Professor usually is. You just kind of wander in, and class starts when it starts.


  1. So I got out of school early on tuesday so I obviously watched the inauguration and I was like oh I should record this for Kaity...so I was looking for a blank tape for like ten minutes then I realized...hello she can just youtube it when she gets home! But it was very exciting...except for the poet that they had. Her poem was really dumb and it sounded like she was learning how to read...but I'm glad you got to listen to it because it was very exciting! Oh and also I only went in for the first 3 periods but I was decked out in my Obama shirt and my peace sign sweatpants...it was my Obama's becoming the president outfit! I love you!

  2. Love the daily observations, I feel like we're all right there with you. Any pics yet? Maybe of your homestay and the family?

  3. I totally remember Mitka talking about African men holding hands!! O and the concept of time there sounds awesome!!! And right up ur ally too very bohemian!! love and miss u!!!! <3