Every Day Stuff

12 “Routines” That Aren’t So Routine

Hal:  Driving through Kampala traffic with my arm out the window, a crazy black woman reached out and pinched my white skin yesterday as we drove by . . . man, I could see the pinch coming, but I definitely underestimated the strength of her hands!!

Terrie:  Flushing the toilet before using it to make sure there are no mosquitoes hanging out in their favorite habitat of water! (But, so thankful for a flush toilet!!!)

Hal:  Having the lights come on in the middle of the night – when the electricity goes out we don’t remember which lights were on. 

Terrie:  Knowing if there is no electricity, not only are there no lights, there is no hot shower; no charging phones; no charging computer; if there is a refrigerator, the door needs to stay closed to keep the food cold. 

Hal:  Knowing if there is electricity, make sure the switch to heat the hot water container is on before taking a shower so water coming out of the “hot” faucet is actually hot!

Terrie:  Knowing taking a “hot” shower is unpredictable and takes longer.  The best results involve turning off the water between soaping and rinsing to save hot water.  Low water pressure means  taking  a long time to wet and rinse hair.

Hal:  Driving on the left side of the road means looking to the right when making a left hand turn to merge into traffic; looking left first, then right, then left before making a right hand turn to cross traffic (and walking across the street means the same!); yielding to larger on-coming vehicles using up more than their share of their lane, allowing for “extra-wide” overloaded motorbikes, allowing for foot-, motorbike-, and animal- traffic spilling beyond the shoulder into the lane.

Terrie:  Knowing kitchen chores involve washing produce with bleach; boiling water on the stove or in the tea kettle to wash dishes; purchasing and connecting a “gas bomb” in order to use the stove.

Hal:  Knowing as we cross the bridge over the Nile River to roll up the windows so the monkeys don’t jump in to steal any food they think we might have in the car!  They might still jump on the hood or the mirrors!

Terrie:  Knowing if they cook with the little dried fish, don’t put any sauce over the rice, beans or greens!

Hal:  Knowing going to church in the village is an all day event not a one-hour sermon!

Terrie:  Knowing if I don’t stomp hard enough on a bug the first time, it won’t kill it!  OK . . . maybe sometimes I overdo it (like the fly I stomped on this morning) . . .   just to make sure for those times it’s more like a wild dance than a single stomp . . .