Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just the facts, ma'am

...as if my previous blog post wasn't long enough already, I realized I'd forgotten to add the fun facts.

But first, some not-so-fun ones:

- around Gulu, it's not uncommon to still see outdated signs warning "Gwok ki owic," or "Beware of landmines"

- it's not out of the ordinary to see signs saying "Say no to gifts for sex" out front of schools located near/in IDP camps

Now, actual fun facts:

- The most popular bicycles I've seen around Gulu are Uganda's own Roadmasters, and Chinese Phoenix(es)

- For cars, however, Toyota's pretty much cornered the market. Almost every NGO vehicle (which make up most vehicles driving around here) are a Land Cruiser or Hilux, and you can tell which ones belong to a UN agency by the massive antennae they have attached to the front.

- You can get your hair braided (I didn't, but Kat did) at the Blood of Jesus Christ Hair Saloon (yes, two "o"s), just down the way from the Shalom Hair Saloon (and no, no one around here seems to be familiar with Judaism).

- Supermarkets run by Indians are your best bet for finding familiar-sounding/looking imported goods, though be prepared to pay for it.

- Whatever style kitenge you order from the tailor will not actually be the style you get, though if you're lucky (like me), it'll turn out looking great anyway.

- It is a lot easier to communicate if you try to use African English. Get used to telling boda drivers no thanks (pe apwoyo), you're "footing it," and tell your host mother that yes, you'll be home in time to "take tea"

- "A planned generation is," apparently, "a happy generation," according to a popular birth control ad campaign around here. Uganda's got a really high (and unsustainable) population growth rate, which has prompted the government to really promote family planning. (For those wondering, abortion is illegal).

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