Ten Things We Learned in Uganda February 08 2012
1. Perry needs a tracking device. Or a leash. The most frequently asked question on the trip was "Hey, where's Perry?"
2. When crowding into a shared taxi to catch a ride to a nearby town over miles of uneven dirt road, try not to sit next to the lady with the three chickens in her lap.
3. Ugandans are universally friendly. Everyone went out of their way to answer our questions, help us figure things out, and just generally make sure we were enjoying ourselves.
4. Winning a barefoot race in a small village with everyone shouting "Go, mizungu, go" makes all of those early morning workouts seem more worthwhile. Forty years from now when my grandchildren ask me for my best story, that will probably be it.
5. Riding on the back of a motorbike with all of your luggage through rush hour traffic in Kampala is not a good idea. It doesn't even sound like a good idea.
6. If you cry at Disney movies, sappy love scenes, and/or inspirational speeches, be sure to wear dark glasses when listening to WMI borrowers tell their stories about how a loan has helped them turn their lives around. Frankly, my inability to turn off the waterworks is getting embarrassing.
7. The Lonely Planet East Africa guide's top picks for hotels in Kampala leaves a little bit to be desired. I've slept comfortably in some pretty shady hotels, but that one was pretty bad. Some hotels seem to be under the impression that if they put a tv in the room, travelers will happily overlook other deficiencies. Trust us, we'll take clean sheets over a semi-functioning tv any day of the week.
8. Ants in Uganda bite really, really hard. I'm not even kidding, you guys. They draw blood. I still have a bite mark. Apparently these ants can devour entire chickens and goats. I didn't believe it until one bit me. Now I believe it.
9. Chickens here run wherever they want, however they want, whenever they want. Well, at least until it's time for dinner. It's not uncommon to see a chicken happily perched in a classroom or a cow wandering nonchalantly across the soccer field in the middle of a game.
10. Cancelled flights are not fun, but free upgrades to business class are. Another glass of champagne? Why, thank you, don't mind if I do.