Thursday, March 10, 2011

Africa- At least we can Laugh

  Of all things that we need the most here in Africa, (toilet paper that doesn't disintegrate upon the slightest amount of moisture or pressure, products from somewhere other than China's -cheapknockoff street-, traffic laws, deodorant, beer) we need to be able to laugh. At what? At just about everything. Otherwise, I think we'd go insane.
So here are some of the things in Africa that demand our chuckles, giggles, smirks, smiles, laughs, gufahs, and bwahas.

Hang onto the edge, Billy! Don't let go!
Like the cutest possible versions of "CLIFFHANGER", Goats require mass amounts of cuteness to stick to ledges. Jehovah had to make a special dimension just for the creation of the amount of cuteness and "awwww" factor required to create a baby goat. Every ledge and every 'cliff' they seem to cling to as though their wee lil lives depended on it. They even look back at their daring adventure friends, as if ensuring that they have not fallen to their cute, bloody deaths.

Crazies. As abundant as oxygen, they fill the streets and alleyways of Fort Portal like white on snow. We were holding the meeting for field service, and a guy dressed in robes walked up behind us. Since we do the field meeting in the open, everyone can see us. He walked up behind us while we were conducting, and sat down on his knees, praying. Then he would sit up, mouth something, and then kneel back down. After doing that for a bit, he pulled out some paper and started writing down something. When he finished, he handed it to Chris Panduro with a big smile and walked away. I checked it out after the meeting, but I couldn't tell what it was...just scribbles maybe.

Every town has its token crazy guy. Fort Portal, however, has many.
How many times have we met totally crazy people when out in the field? Far, far too many to count. For instance:
(After talking to someone, I was approached by some older guy who was asking about God's name)
Me: "So, what do you think God's name is?"
Me: "Uh...what?"
Me: "You have no idea what I'm saying, do you?"
Me: "I'm...going to go now."
Gentleman: "YEEEES!! OKAY!! HOW ARE YOU?!"
Me: "...Butterfly."

Another time, we were conducting the field service meeting again, and some guy walked up and stood there with us. That was pretty much it. He just stood there smiling. When we finished, he waved and walked away.  Anticlimactic...

I even get plenty of offers. For instance:
I went in the field today when something strange but funny happened. As I was talking to a group of people, an old lady came up and, in broken English, asked me:
"Do you have a wife?" Odd, right?
Me: "" I wasn't curious. Not at all.
Her: "Why?"
Me: "Too expensive." She laughed. I didn't.
Her: "I want you to have my daughter!"
She grabs a young woman by the arm and pushes her towards me. The young woman yells "NO!" and struggles to break free.
Me: "Uh...I don't think she likes me."
Young woman: "I don't!"
Older woman: "It is okay!" She kept pushing her daughter at me.
Young woman: "I do not like him!"
Older woman: "Oogabooga takatakawakapaka!" (Rutoro language)
Young woman: "Mpaka natwe noogoo boogerface!" (Returned Rutoro)
Both women: Argue.
Me: Leave quietly before they notice.

After pulling my face out of the thorn bushes on the side of the road that I found temporary residence in to avoid getting hit by a car, I looked up to see my near death experience's mascot. What did I see?
"God Delivers Driving School"

What do you think? Not the most convincing, is it? We can laugh about things like the signs in Uganda. 
"Hope and Faith" Hair Salon.
"He Cares" Driving School.
"Anointed" Bakery.
"Holy" Chapel. (Ok, that one isn't funny, just ironic)
There is a list of other ones, but I just can't recall them. Maybe I'll fix this post later and include more examples. Sorry 'bout that. :]

Long story short, if you're thinking about coming to Africa, there is one thing that you should never, ever, forget. Make sure you bring a bagfull of laughs and a good, sturdy sense of humor. Otherwise, you'll not have any fun. And not having fun is no fun, wouldn't you agree?
Thanks for reading, everyone!

Ps. To let you all know, I am coming up on my last month in Uganda, so please include any requests early on so I have time to attend to them! I'll be continuing my posts while in Honduras on the same Blog. Remember, too, that Honduras is hopefully in October of this year, so that leaves me with a few good months back in Alaska. I'll try and update once a week in Alaska, but it wont be as interesting I fear. We'll see!

Pss. I have 35 'Followers'! Come on, 5 more!! Thanks for reading!!


  1. I agree on the beer bit... then what about OH JESUS saloon, GOD'S MERCY coffee shop, TRINITY restaurant and SALTY CRACKS crackers?

  2. BUWAHAHAHAHA! "Salty Cracks"??? Oh Lordy, I needed that laugh tonight.

    Honestly, without a hefty sense of humor these past two months, I think I seriously would have gone insane. Trevor, in one of your videos you have a song called 'Start Wearing Purple', right? I have to tell you, when I was taking care of Dad and things were getting really dicey, I had no idea what time of day it was... yet less what day it was... and just when I thought I was going to lose my mind, that song would pop in my head and make me laugh. I didn't realize I was singing it out loud one day till Mom was like, "What in the world are you singing??" I told her, "I honestly have no idea" and laughed again. (I'm alright, really.) Laughter is priceless!

  3. Hello Trevor! It's me again, Audrey (who uses a translator to write you, ahahah!). Thank you for your text. I love the way you see things! Thank you again.

  4. I needed that, Trevor. I laughed until tears rolled down my face. But Mr. Africa Boy, lets see if you can top this one that comes from the good old U. S. of A. Jehovah Java Gourmet Coffee Bar. Yes, and not only 1, it's a chain. One in a tiny town in Arkansas, one in a tiny town across the state line in Louisiana. Arkansas does things real well--outside Pine Bluff you can go to Toad Suck Park ( I kid you not). Bet you didn't know that the world's--not state--not country--WORLD'S spinach capital is in Alma, Arkansas where they grow and can Popeye's spinach......and I saw the statue of Popeye to prove it. Or how about Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, the home of the Chief Pottawatomie Indian Nation? And you thought you had to go thousands of miles from home to find craziness?

    Wishing you a safe trip home to family and friends and a wonderful journey to Honduras; remember that Florida is (kind of) on the way there.