I'm proud to report that my cell phone avoidance tactic from the US works in Uganda. So you know how at most malls they have those kiosks in the aisle ways and there always seems to be at least one that is selling some kind of lotion/hand care stuff. Those people like hunt you down when you walk past grabbing for your hands and I get tired of it, so when I get near those areas of the mall I pull out my cell phone and start talking to myself or just smile stupidly like I'm listening to someone on the other end throwing in a random "Mmmhmm." Back to Uganda- when I walk home I pass by a secondary school and let's just be honest middle school/high school aged boys and some girls aren't always the most fun to be around. They make comments (in Luganda of course), laugh at you, and sometimes they even crowd around trying to get a reaction out of you. I usually try to remain as inconspicuous as possible on most days but that doesn’t work so well because I pretty much glow in the dark. Yesterday I was getting fed up with it so I pulled out my cell and pretended to answer a call and held the phone to my ear until the school kids where out of sight. It worked and I got left alone- another small victory, haha.
Once I reach the dirt paths it’s all good b/c from there it’s just small children that yell at me. They will yell “Hi Mzungu” until I'm out of sight even after I say hi to them and ask them how they are. Funny story- as I continued I saw a couple orange things moving out of the corner of my eye in some tall grass. My first reaction was that “oh, it’s couple red-headed children” but then I quickly remember that I’m in Uganda and that they were chickens, haha. I got ambushed by the kids by my house again and they tried to teach me how to dance…that didn’t work out so well. They sang songs they learned in church, taught me a Ugandan game, said the Lord’s Prayer for me and they made sure my eyes were closed too, and then they asked me to sing to them. The neighbors that were staring sure got some free entertainment watching a mzungu trying to shake her hips and sing. The kids kept crowding me trying to feel my hair, climb on my back, and they were so fascinated with my skin and the fact that they could see my veins.
Since I’ve been here in Uganda it’s been hard to find moments to be alone but as I figure out my surroundings I’m finding little spots to escape to- the open field at the top of the hill by my house, the veranda at my house at sunset, and the old chapel at school. I just started using the chapel this week. I was having a rough day and just needed to get away and do my quiet time and I happened upon the old chapel that happened to be empty, score! There are days where I thirst and crave to be alone with God- to be silent, to sit, to read, and to journal. I’m so thankful I’ve found a spot to do that.