Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Africa- Learn From My Fail

Now, believe it or not this post actually has everything to do with Africa. As of today, I've been here for 2 months! That means I only have a short 4 months left before I go home and start planning my next adventure, whether back here or somewhere new. (Japan?) Anyway, all of the things that happened below have happened to me here in Uganda. So imagine each one of these happening in the heart of Africa to a white kid from Alaska. I think that adds such an awesome element of humor that is hard to top. :]
Today, I'm having a little miniature celebration for my 2 month anniversary. Sure, its just me and Soda, (the cat. No, not "kat', those are the evil ones) but still there is no one else around that would want to have a 2 month celebration with me. What? So I like to do weird things, sue me.
Ok, here we go. Learn From My Fail, a list of many of the fails that I've experienced in the short time I've been in Africa, served with a side of awesome. Enjoy!

  • If you know that a certain African person is prone to 'spit talking', never laugh with your mouth open around them. Learn From My Fail.

  • If you think you know your way around the house well enough to navigate it in the dark, you don't. And you can't. You will end up drastically miscalculating the distance between your face and the wall, and have a large lump that will be noticed by many people. Learn From My Fail.

  • I decided to walk to Kasusu and back the other day. Learn From My Fail. (Still waiting for the feeling to come back into my feet)

  • You gain a new respect for the cleanliness and smell of a toilet when you visit one of the public toilets in Uganda. Learn From My Fail.

  • Pants in America = Clothing for your legs. Pants in Uganda = Underwear. When in Uganda, never tell someone you like their pants unless you want things to get very awkward, very fast. Learn From My Fail.

  • When staring at someone through the lenses of your reflective sunglasses so that they cannot see you looking at them, make sure that said sunglasses are not, in fact, resting on the top of your head instead of over your eyes where they belong. Fellow muzungus (no matter how cute they may be) do not like being stared at. Learn From My Fail.

  • Don't put freshly purchased eggs in your backpack and think: "Meh, I can be careful enough, they won't break." You can't, and they will. You will have a very smooth, wet interior to your backpack, even if you swore the bag wasn't ripped. Learn From My Fail.

  • If you think you're getting a sunburn, you are. Don't think you can take it, unless you like screaming like a little girl every time you move the next day, and have bright enough skin to light up the dark. Learn From My Fail.

  • If you have an open and very small shower that you barely fit in, do not assume the 'extra water' sound is just an 'Africa' thing. Its not. You are actually unknowingly spilling water all over the bathroom floor because the curtain slipped out and is no longer confining the water to the shower. Learn From My Fail.
(Side point, you will not realize said Fail until you are picking yourself up from a very, very slippery floor.)

*Side point. Is it just me, or are snuggies just robes worn backwards?*
  • If you feel so tired that you could fall asleep in a standing position, remember that you are with the person that takes FOREVER on each paragraph of the bible study and talks quiet and soft. You WILL fall asleep with your head back and mouth open, and you WILL look like a fool. Learn From My Fail.

  • When a batch of Avocados is getting ripe, eat it. Otherwise it will get TOO ripe, you will forget about it, and the fruit fly version of a locust swarm will invade your kitchen. Learn From My Fail.

  • When religiously using hand sanitizer because of the army of germs in Uganda, avoid wiping your eyes immediately after. Alcohol drops in the cornea hurts, bad. The upside is that your eyes are clean, even if you are blind. Learn From My Fail.

  • When walking home alone in the dark in Africa, remember that Africans blend in so well with the dark that you won't see them walking towards you until you are nearly touching noses. You will scream when they suddenly appear from nothingness, and there will be a measure of distrust with them from that moment forward. Learn From My Fail.

  • Never assume that Ugandans have a sense of personal space. They don't, and you will be very put off when they sit so close next to you it feels like they're sitting on your lap. Learn From My Fail.

  • When taking a nap in shorts and no shirt, PLEASE remember that a sister is coming over to clean for the people you're housesitting for. She has the keys to the gate you locked. Learn From My Fail.

  • If you forget about noodles cooking on the stove top, they will turn to snot. If said noodles turn to snot, throw them away, do not try and salvage them. They will feel like snot, and it will make you feel sick. Learn From My Fail.
Thats it for now, though I might have another session of "It made my day' or "Learn from my fail' sometime in the future. Until next we meet, farewell!


  1. i agree about the snuggies - footie pjs are way better! not that we people living in warm climates need them!

  2. I remember my footie pjs...*nostalgia* Nope, don't need them here, not at all!

  3. Oh my goodness, this was hilarious! I sprayed Dr. Pepper out my nose due to a badly timed sip! My two favorites... "walking home alone in the dark" and "the hand sanitizer debacle". Happy Anniversary!

  4. Jenjen, Thanks! Dr. Pepper out the nose? Owch, that's the worst!
    I partied it up on my anniversary!

  5. So Funny Trevor, Some of these things you would never think of before you were presented with them
    Have fun!

  6. How funny! Africa must be the same regardless of country--we get lots of similar thoughts from Peter and Ilynca in Guinea--The comment about personal space is great--I was just viewing some photos of the 2010 convention in Zambia and a comment on one was " If you need personal space, this is not the place to be" and everyone WAS almost sitting in each others laps :-)

    My husband just came in to see what I was giggling about, so I shared this with him too.

    Oh, and by the way--you won't win the dark arms contest with any of the locals yet, but you are losing some of that Alaska super white look from the sun you've been walking around in every day :-)

  7. 本当にすごい! ♪───O(≧∇≦)O────♪ It's great how you put this lesson in a positively humorous light!! I don't think i could pick a favorite, so left me in tears from laughter! Keep up the great posts, so many of your readers enjoy them!

    P.S. If you think it's sad falling in the dark, try falling down the stairs when everything is perfectly visible (not that I admit to doing this)! You'll find a new level of necessity to be able to laugh at yourself! ...ね? ☆〜(ゝ。∂)

  8. Thanks, Sheilah. :]

    Dsc, The personal space thing is SO funny, its a love/hate relationship, haha! Africa is NOT the place to be if you like your personal space, you're so right about that!

    Nautica, I've NEVER fallen down the stairs in broad daylight...Ok maybe once or twice. How about this, try falling UP the stairs. Yeah, I've done that quite a few times. It hurts your pride as much as your face. And it hurts your face a lot...

  9. A side point to the side point: Snuggies are gross! Please tell me they haven't invaded Africa, too. If only those two drunk college guys knew what they were making and what it would do to home lounging. And as to walking alone in the dark, that same rule applies to corn mazes, its almost serial killer scary in there.

  10. You are too funny. I'm loving imagining you in all these situations. Congratulations on your anniversary. We're proud of you!

  11. B-Rad, nice to hear from you, buddy! Know that we (the Bethel group) miss you and wish the best for you! I agree about the snuggies, wholeheartedly. Not in Africa just yet, thank goodness. And after watching 'SIGNS' I'm terrified of corn...

    Cindy, thanks again! Its been a crazy 2 months already, and I still have 4 more to go! Miss you, and can't wait to see my other mom once again. :]

  12. PS--you can call me Deborah :-)