Saturday, December 4, 2010

Africa- Weekly Rundown

Alright, for all you lads and lasses (sp?) that wonder what goes on in my life on a weekly bases, here you are!
*Hands over a small package*
Go on, open it!
Ha! Gotcha, its nothing. Instead, I'll tell you about my weekly schedule in blog form. Are you not just SO excited?? HM?
Ok, first off. What should I start with? Sunday? Nah, thats no good. Lets do the dreaded Monday. *lightning strike* MUWAHAHAHAHA...ok.

Mondays here are actually pretty sweet. They are the 'day off' day. We hang around, enjoy the sun (if its here), go to the pool, do a few things around the house, bla bla bla. You know, all the retired people stuff. Its a refreshing day off and a chance to catch up on some of the stuff we don't get done during the week. This coming Monday is SLEEP IN time! HA, to all you poor fellows who cannot sleep in on a Monday! For the record, this is the first time I've ever been able to sleep in on Mondays. Other than that time in prison. (He's never been to prison) Yes I have, how would you know? (Because I do) That's not a response...(It is what it is) Mom always says that. I hate it...

     Tuesdays usher in the start of my week, officially. Tuesday is the new Monday. It'll be a thing, just watch. Most Tuesdays, I start service at 7am, and work until 12pm-2pm. That gives me a good solid 5-7 hours. Then I can come home and still study and do other stuff! (Like sleep and eat, Garfield) Hey, Garfield is awesome. Don't diss the fat cat.
Usually I do street work from 7am to the meeting for service. Then I do a mix of studies or field, depending on the territory/situation/ etc. Tuesdays are nothing spectacular, but watevs. Its ok. :] Usually Tuesday nights are getting together with some of the need greaters, particularly the Panduros. Food, festivities, sometimes movies. Awesome, right?

Random dance session. Go! *dances* Oh, please...stop!

In the shops
Have you ever noticed how stupidly Wednesday is spelled? Really stupid. Anyway, Wednesdays we meet in town for service. So again, I meet at 7am most days, and work the same amount as Tuesdays. In town service is interesting, as you just walk up to the shops and such and start talking. Instantly you have some one interested. Its not like home, where you're terrified of doing the shops. Here the people invite you in for tea and biscuits. (ok, maybe not that last part) ((Actually sometimes they do offer you stuff to eat and drink, and every sip or bite you're terrified that you're getting some horrid disease that will rot you from the inside out)) In fact, I was talking to this one shop owner (a woman) and she asked me if I had more time.
"Sure!" I replied! That happens a lot! And I doubt it is because I am so devastatingly handsome. Then, however, she asked me to buy her a computer...I said no. She asked: "What if we become friends first?"
"OH OK! What a wonderful----no."

(Wait...think about this. Handsome=hand some?) They actually WANT to hear about the bible. Yeah, wrap your American heads around that one. Crazy, right?
Then, Wednesday nights are similar to Tuesday nights. Sometimes I go to bed early! OOh, I got shivers from excitement!
(Side story, I met a Muslim who asked me to buy him a ticket to America. I said no.)

Street Work
Again, we do early morning service on Thursdays. We start at 7am, and walk to the place we meet for service. We meet at 9:30 am, so once we get close, we just stand on the side of the road and wait for people to walk past. Then we witness to them, giving them a mix of tracts, brochures, and sometimes a Teach book. Finally the people are starting to recognize me! They love me, they really love me! The other week I had two people in one day walk up and ask the following.
"HELLO. Do you remember me?"
"Of COURSE I remember you!" I didn't.
"Do you remember what you said you would give me?"
"Yeah, I was waiting all week to give it to you!" No I didn't.
"Do you remember my name?" 
"Tch...there are so many faces, I forgot your name! Sorry!" I wasn't. I don't know if I ever even knew his name. *shrug*


Muwahaha, no caption!
I hate to do this to Friday, but its kind of like a Thursday, just without going early. I sleep in! Kind of. I still get up at 6am, but I don't go early. I take the early part of the morning off. 
After service on Fridays we usually catch up for our meetings or studies, and then hang out again with the Panduros. There is a very social feel to Fort Portal need greaters. *shrug* 
Moving on to Saturday! You're boring, Friday! 
(How dare you! *sob*)

Saturdays we go in service at 10am, instead of 9:30am. Its kind of nice. (slacker..) Sometimes we help clean the hall. (Why not all the time?) Cus we don't sometimes, thats why! (Lame reason) When we DO clean, its with these stick things tied together to form a broom, but its a hand broom. As stick part. So the sisters bend down and sweep the whole floor. I even saw one sister sweeping the grass...Not sure what good that does. (what? don't you clean your grass?) *shrug* Maybe its a Ugandan thing? 
Anyway, then we go and wash the benches with water. Just water...That is against everything I've ever been taught in Bethel service to clean with just water, but watevs. I suppose its my job just to do what the locals do. :] So thats what I do. (Yeah, so be quiet and do your job) So, does that mean I get paid? ( Anyway.

The Service Meeting is on Saturdays at 3:00pm. So I usually go out until the meeting. Then we meet with the brothers and talk a little bit before its starts. The seats in the hall are (as mentioned) benches with out backs. It keeps you awake, thats for sure. My back hurt for 3 weeks when I first got here from all the standing and sitting with no backs! (Quick! Call the ambulance, we have a lazy bum!) No seriously, its so hard to concentrate when your back hurts so bad. That, and when you cannot understand the accent of the brothers giving the talks. Its true...most Saturdays I just sit in the hall pretending that I can understand them. Scares the junk out of me when people clap on announcements, seeings how I never see it coming.
Things in the meetings here are not NEAR as...efficient as it is back home. Sometimes the power goes out. When power is out, there is no sound. So that means there is no music. That means that everyone has to sing without the music. THAT means that the brother on stage has to start singing, and wait for the congregation to join in. I must say, he has a beautiful voice.

One time the power went out, so the mic cut out for the brother on stage. So, as wonderful of an idea as it was, the stage brother ran up to get the mic out of the way. Or, so I thought. He ran up, and took the mic stand and made it point STRAIGHT up. So now instead of a nonworking micstand on stage, there was a micstand pointing at the ceiling, right in front of the speaker. Of course, I start busting a gut, trying however to conceal it. The need greaters all start laughing as well, but the Ugandan brothers never seem to notice! So Johnathan Gubser runs up and takes it down, and the Ugandan brothers look confused. Its just a mindset that is so different here...The meetings are...interesting most times. In fact, there are only two mics, so the speaker gets one, and then the roving mic and the stage guy have to share one. For Watchtower (coming up on the Sunday section of this post) the reader has to give the mic to the rover and vice/versa. Its frustrating sometimes, but I have to learn to chill out over the little things like that. Its just a different world over here, so what we see and normal and standard is many times unknown over here. *shrug* I'm going to be even more lazy when I get back home! Woo!

Translating the talk
Sundays are very similar to Sundays back home. Meeting at 10:00am. The public talk, however, is broken in half because they translate it into Rutoro. So the brother giving the talk says a sentence, then the brother standing next to him translates it, then so on and so forth. Its kind of like badminton! (that's how you spell the game, right?) So in reality, the brother only gives about a 15 min part, instead of 30 mins.
So then the Watchtower comes up, and people vary answers in Rutoro (remember, that's a local language) and English. Then after the meeting, a lot of people have studies. Soooooo they take the benches and carry them outside to have a study in the shade where it is quiet. Its peaceful, serene, and slow paced. I've been bored a lot here, actually. Everyone is paced so SLOWLY it almost hurts to slow down to them.
For instance, back home the greeting process lasts about 10 seconds.

"Hello, my name is [insert name here]. What is yours?"
"[insert other name here]." 
"Nice to meet you!" 
That's about it. However, its different here. We meander around wandering on their grass, until we finally find our way to their front door. The whole time they're standing there looking at us. For some reason, the local brothers never seem to say anything until they are RIGHT up on the householder. I hate it, its so awkward! Then the greeting process is so SLOW.
"................................Oliota." (Hello)

Its a training process...*clears thoat*

Ok, ladies and gents. That is about it for today. That is what my week is mostly like, everynow and then inturrupted by a vacation day to safari or rest, so on and so forth! Questions? No? Good, now go home. Go make me some food, cus I'm HUNGRY.


  1. my buddy trev.... what do you want me to make you... ima pretty good cook.. haha ~Carissa

  2. Woah! Where am I? Did I come to the right blog? So different.すごい!first of all, great post! It's great hearing about these differences of cultures and such. Regarding your time in prison, I have a complaint about my lisence plate! (♯`∧´)/ don't try to deny your work!
    Did you have to ask someone how to spell Wednesday? Mmhm...
    it's great hearing about the experiences too! They're so exciting and encouraging ( primarily comforting to think you have to suffer the discomfort! Not seriously!) it's great to hear how they make do with what they've got. We have so many luxuries ( conveniences) that they don't, it can be so easy to take them for granted and allow our sight to become fuzzy when it comes to what's really important in life. It must be so nice in way to see how though they have less, many of them (brothers and sisters) surely have more in a way. I hope that makes sense.

  3. Nautica- We has the blingz! No, really, I just changed it some. :] Its a working progress! And I told you to chill about the plate, I havent even been paid yet! Hm? What about that??
    Thanks, anyhow, for the comment. I appreciate the feed back. You've got a good feeling of what it is like to see this stuff and how it makes one feel.

  4. 人のクールなグループのように見えます。私はあなたが白い人です気づいた。体験をお寄せいただきありがとうございます。私はカントは我々の冒険を待ちます。

  5. The "dreaded Monday" pic really does capture the very essence of "dread"!! :-) That's a "cocoyea broom" that the sisters use to sweep the floor with (and apparently the grass too). (Pronounced Koe-Kee-Yeah). I can't believe how similar some of the things are between Uganda and here! (So far, they point with their mouths and use cocoyea brooms to sweep.) Well, the broom thing has more or less gone out of style now, what with Hoover and what-not. :-)

  6. Fullah, Great comment, dude, but I seriously doubt you suddenly speak/write Japanese! Let me guess, googletranslator? You're right, though, our adventures are going to rock this world hard!

    Helen, Mondays are SO tough here, I dread everyone of them. *wink*
    So I finally have a name to the broom things! Here is a question, do they always say 'yes' even when they have no idea what you said?
    For instance:
    "How are you?"
    " don't speak English do you?"
    "...Have you ever seen spacemonkies with lasersnot?"
    "Yeah, you have no idea what I'm saying, do you?"
    "I'm leaving now".

  7. My only comment to this post is i think i need proof of this so called dancing. In fact i think you should learn some of the local dances and post you doing them. Really that would be something to see.

  8. Oh and all i can say about your cleaning... well i guess all that training didn't matter in the end. You should ask them where the saniquat is. I mean could you get some APC around there.

  9. In regards to Blaine's first comment...私も。

  10. Blaine, Hahaha I refuse to show such dancing! Not even a whole bag of grasshoppers would persuade me! (Maybe two)
    It is sort of a bummer to not be able to use the wonderful training you gave me. Wow...that brings back memories, doesn't it? Lets relive those days. On 3, ok?
    1, 2, 3!
    *Eyes glaze over*
    Ok, that's enough. What did you think, looking back?

    Nautica, No.

  11. 'Yes' to everything?...they don't do that here. You'd be more likely to get frowned at and "What yuh say?" asked in return. :-)

  12. I enjoyed your comments on the Sunday program. It brought back memories of a couple of times that we visited the only publisher (at that time) on the 5 square mile Caribbean island of Saba. Br Haskins was there by himself for about 13 years and from time to time others would come for a few months--but basically he was the only one for all those years. Every Sunday he gave the talk in both English and Spanish (even though Saba is under Dutch control, many there speak Spanish)--so he would say a couple of sentences in English and then translate what he said into Spanish and do that for the entire talk--then he would conduct the WT study and do the same thing--ask questions in both languages, although I don't remember if he also read the paragraphs in both. For many years the "Kingdom Hall" was his house. Now there are several publishers, a few have been baptized, and they have a small KH that used to be a mechanic's garage.