21 September 2016
A Blog Post by Nick
We have been in Uganda for three days now, and are finally getting adjusted to the time change. We also have been adjusting to the Ugandan culture, which is very different from American culture and social norms. In Uganda, which has a relationship-oriented society, interpersonal relationships are the cornerstone of the culture. In the United States, which has a task-oriented society, time efficiency is emphasized, and money is highly valued. It always seems difficult to find enough room in our busy schedules to put work aside and make time for family and friends. Although we have a saying in America that “the important things in life aren’t things,” we must constantly remind ourselves to try to live by those words. In Uganda, however, the virtue of that saying is embedded in the way of life. When buying something in a store, for example, it would be very rude to not introduce oneself and have a conversation with the clerk before making a purchase. But because interactions like that are so important, it is no surprise that everyone with whom we have interacted so far has been very kind and genuinely caring. Even though it is only been a few short days, being immersed in Ugandan culture has already enabled me to view humanity from an entirely new perspective.
It is currently the rainy season here, and, typically, there are some brief showers in the afternoon. The temperature is pretty moderate, going up to the high 20s°C (mid 80s°F) during the day and going down to about 15°C (about 60°F) at night. Everything is very green, and there are lots of plants and flowers. Because we are so close to the equator, the day is almost exactly twelve hours long, with the sun rising around 0700 and setting around 1900 (7pm). Bug spray is absolutely required when outside to prevent mosquito bites, since mosquitoes carry many diseases, including malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever. When sleeping, bed nets must also be used. Last night, there was a pretty big thunderstorm that had knocked out the power until this afternoon. Listening to the rain on the roof of my hut was really relaxing and helped me to finally catch up on some much needed sleep.