GO OBAMA!!

There are issues I have with some of his policies and like with a lot of first term Obama supporters, there are many issues where I wish he had done more or taken a stronger stance.

That being said, I am still an Obama supporter through and through. And the alternative is shocking in my mind, for many reasons,  but especially for the fact that I am a woman.

So once again, I take great pride in throwing myself fully into an election I cannot vote in. (I do love me a good American Election) and make my Obama support very vocal and clear.

And it also the reason this post is coming to you at 4:15 am in the morning from Mbale, Eastern Uganda. There is no power in my room (and maybe a mouse). However, I have my faithful Macbook Air super battery, my Orange modem (+extra airtime) and my Ribena juicebox.

All you need to stream election results.

CMON OBAMA!!

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Chat Up Lines That Don’t Work

Mbale Bus Station, 13.10.2012:

Are you my sister?

Confused look on my face.

You are so pretty I thought that you had to be my sister.

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The Loophole

I was relating my boda conversation about the non-dowry paying Europeans to one of my friends the other day, and she said that in fact her boda guy had asked her the exact same question about paying dowry in the US.

However, unlike my boda guy, her boda guy had a very different reaction when he found out that they did not pay dowry in the U.S. He exclaimed:

Well then I will have to marry an American!

He had just found the loophole in the system.

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Happy 50th Birthday Uganda!

A day late as a result of all the celebrating, but wohoo Uganda is 50!

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You’ve Got To Pay For That

Our exploration of the range of cooking fuels and other energy generation methods in Austria sparked my boda guy’s interest in finding out more about Austria.  Therefore, a couple of days later on one of our daily rides to work, he asked

Madam, can I ask you another question about your country? I mean your country Austria?

Kudos to him, he has got Austria right every single time we have talked. Again, I encouraged him to ask away.

In Austria and in Europe, when you get married, does the man have to pay his wife’s family so he can marry her?

I told him that in general, we did not pay dowry in Austria or in Europe (by the way, the fact that he followed Austria up with a reference to Europe shows he knows Austria – I am very proud).

Eeeeeeesssshhhhhh. But Madam, that is not ok. A wife produces for her husband and for her village. Without a wife, a husband would have no children. You always pay for someone that produces for you. So it is not ok not for a husband to take a wife without paying the family. Not ok.

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You Know You Don’t Live In South Sudan Anymore…

…. when three fighter jets fly past your office window and

a. You realize that your office is up high enough to view fighter jets flying past your window

and

b. The reaction in the office is not ummm why the hell are 3 fighter jets flying past the window?!?!

but rather

You know how much those cost??? You know how many children could have been educated for that money?!?!

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The Important Things To Know About Austria

I have a new mode of transport to add to my repertoire of blogging: the boda boda. This is basically a motorcycle taxi and now my primary means of transport in Kampala. It was never really meant to be that way because I am actually terrified of motorcycles in general and motorcycles in traffic with crazy drivers in particular. On my first evening in Juba, I discovered that my fear of bodas was not irrational as I was witness to a boda v matatu crash which ended not so well for the boda driver and swore me off bodas in Juba in general.

I thought I could continue this moratorium on riding bodas all the way through to Kampala. But really, in a city that rivals Nairobi in traffic (and we all know how much time I spent stuck in Nairobi traffic), it is so incredibly practical to slalom in between the car and traffic and still be able to keep time as you know how long it will take you to get from point A to point B (although I still find myself in the minority in terms of actually keeping time).

Part of the trick of riding bodas in Kampala, is finding yourself a reliable boda driver and then calling him routinely when you need to get anywhere.

I found my guy.

He became this after being the first boda driver I met who charged me the correct price to get home, he drove carefully AND he wore a helmet himself (which I always find is a good indication of the drivers own perception of safety – at least that is what I tell myself).

Now after 2 months of riding bodas, I am beginning to get less terrified of them. This manifests itself in the fact that now I only have to hold on with one hand (rather than gripping for dear life with two). Sometimes (just sometimes) when there is a flat stretch of road and no other vehicles around, I find myself not even holding on anymore (and yes, with Kampala’s excessive amount of potholes and vehicles, sometimes does not happen very often). One other way it manifests itself, is that now I can start having conversations on my boda rides (as opposed to focusing my thoughts on getting to my next destination alive).

Most of our conversations revolve around Manchester United. He is a Manchester United fan – another very important reason that he qualified to become my boda guy. Recently, however, he asked me where I come from. I told him that I was half Austrian and half Ugandan.

Can I ask you a question about your country Austria?

I told him of course he could ask a question and I thought, here it comes, a question about the kangaroos or something of the sort. Another one to add to the list on the Great Austrian Australian Divide.

In Austria, do they cook with charcoal?

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