Thursday, March 25, 2010

Your Smartness is our Pride

Greg refuses to blog, but I thought I'd relay some of his impressions in today's post. Yesterday as we were walking through the Mengo district (kind of like a suburb of Kampala), he commented on the smells of urban Africa.
"There are three dominant odors," he remarked as we stepped across a gutter filled with trash and muddy water. "Garbage, burning garbage and exhaust."

Despite the fact that piles of garbage, in varying states of combustion and decay, are everywhere, the people here are impeccably clean. I've seen women walk out of the lowliest of mud huts, pick their way gracefully through the sticky red African mud, looking impossibly pristine. Their clothes are spotless and pressed to perfection. Someone told us recently that Ugandans think Americans always look rumpled!

Driving home from dinner last night (at a very posh western-style resort where Candyce and Steven will spend their wedding night), we drove by clusters of people who were sweeping dirt from the streets (which are made of dirt). The people here don't have much, but I've seen incredible care go into maintaining what they do have. What a lesson for us!

The other thing Greg gets a kick out of is the signage here. We've tried to memorize some of the quirkier signs. Greg's favorite is the banner over a clothing store in downtown Kampala: Your Smartness is our Pride! (Candyce says that Africans like to look smart). Other signs of interest: Glory Be Take Out, Blessed Man Garment Company, Hallelujah Market, Avoid Morning Sex (we have no idea what this means) and Eat Your Way to Better Sex (we wish we knew more about this).

Most businesses, even banks, have some kind of christianese as part of their title--so the opposite of Oregon!

Today we are just chillin' at the guest house. The wedding rehearsal is at 2 (which means it will probably start around 4). I am sad to think how quickly our time here is drawing to an end . . .