I just got to school a little bit ago and I’m still sweating from the walk, haha. I’m so out of shape. Denise and I have a 30-40 minute walk, depending upon how quickly we walk. About 1/3 of that walk is up hill….we have to pace ourselves but luckily most Ugandans walk pretty slow as well. It’s kinda like life here goes slower anyway. It’s super common to walk down the road and just see people sitting on their front porches or yards. They have time for each other.
As I walk to school I pass small houses, little stores and stands, and lots of people on boda bodas (motor bikes). Life as a pedestrian is thrilling in a dangerous way. The totem pole of travel here goes: buses, vans, cars, boda bodas, bicycles, and then people at the very bottom. If you’re in the road you better get out of the way, haha.
As a white pedestrian there is a whole other element to walking to school and it’s constantly hearing the phrase, “Hi muzungu!” These shouts almost always come from little kids and they smile and wave as you pass, some get excited and jump up and down or follow you down the road. You get looks of confusion and fear from small children sometimes because lets face it, white people in an African setting look scary. I have to admit while I was in Rwanda I was talking to a woman holding a small baby and when he looked at me he let out a loud cry, looked terrified, and then hid his face in his mom’s shoulder. I made the poor baby cry because in the words of his mother “You, first muzungu.” Haha, I was the first white person that baby had ever seen. I bring fear to small children, oh man. The other group Denise and I get the most attention from is men. They look at you and say “How are you?” with a creepy grin. This hasn’t happened to me a lot, but this has been the most attention I have ever received from guys in my life…and I’m not sure I like it, haha.