1. On my last trip to Kampala, the conductor of my matatu (14 passenger taxi van) and I had a tiny misunderstanding: I told him “Mukono” and somehow he mixed it up with the name of a prison on the outskirts of town. I figured this out on a shifty backroad, and when I said so, the entire van started laughing at me. 2 towns and 3 hours later, I made it back to school. Once again, my method of getting to know a city by getting lost multiple times has proven effective. 🙂 Really not my fault though – I claim the miscommunication excuse, so no smart comments from you all who may have gotten lost with me before…
2. In Rwanda I started talking with this lady and her mom and beautiful baby all wrapped up on her back. She saw my camara on me, and asked me to take a picture. I did. After taking a couple, I said goodbye and started to walk away. All at once they basically cornered me, spoke a lot of angry French, and told a translator nearby that they felt cheated; I had taken a picture of the baby with nothing in return for them. Basically, they wanted money, and conned me in the classic picture deal. The child was probably rented. I gave them the equivalent of a few American cents, and walked away with them yelling behind me.
3. First time in the town of Mukono: beautifully picturesque day, good conversation with local street vendors, and several moments of complete and udder stupidity in converting each dollar to 1650 shillings… Walking back, 3 of us (all females) were approached by a rather forward middle aged guy who thought he was cooler than cool. He says: “I want one of you; I pick.” I forget my response, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the most polite, culturally sensitive remark.
4. When it rains here, you’re up your waist in mud. Consequently, I’ll occasionally put on a pair of very fashionable “gum boots” – tall black rubber boots. One early morning (inadvertantly, when I was more tired than usual), I quickly shook out the boot and stuck my bare foot in. When I felt some little feet squirming on my toes, I woke up noticably faster and shook the boot out harder. A nice big daddy of a cockroach emerged. I then set the fire alarm off with all the DOOM I used in the 30 seconds following.
This is basically life every day. I just have to laugh. I’ve got so many more, and I’m sure there will be plenty more to come.