Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Reality Check...

The longer I live in Africa the more I come to realize what close minded views people have of this continent...

When I say I live in Africa, many people imagine me in the middle of a National Geographic Photo shoot, hunting wild animals, crossing large deserts or sitting in the middle of a slum full of kids with runny noses and swarming flies...

I realize that this view that people have comes from the images they see on television, or read in story books...and unfortunately I find that american TV, books, and even the education fall way short on giving us an accurate picture of what the rest of the world is really like...

SO...here is a little bit of a reality check aimed at giving you a small picture of what we have in Uganda and some of the things I enjoy that most people can't imagine I have access too...

In UG we have:
  • TVs...and not just small ones, we have nice big flat screen ones...
  • We have DSTV
  • with MTV,
  • E! Entertainment
  • and all the other channels you may enjoy in the US
  • We have tabloid newspapers...and yes, they are just as ridiculous as the ones in the states
  • We have a movie theatre
  • A bowling alley
  • And a small roller skating rink
  • We also have a paint ball field
  • White water rafting
  • and Bungie Jumping...but if we are being honest, I would never jump...no matter what country I was in!
  • We have coffee shops
  • with Iced Mochas, Lattes
  • and sweets to munch on
  • We use cell phones,
  • and have internet access through blackberries and iphones.
  • We also have traffic...lots of it...and personally I think its worse than the 405 morning drive
  • During the week, you will see business women and men in their business suits
  • carrying laptops and
  • sitting in cafes, having important business meetings
  • We also have shopping malls
  • Food courts
  • Elevators
  • and fancy restaurants
  • We have spa's
  • Swimming pools
  • local celebrities
  • and Five star hotels
  • We also have Two story houses
  • Dogs and Cats as pets
  • and Ice Cream shops
  • You can find Pringle potato chips in our stories (on most days)
  • along with twix candy bars
  • and oreo cookies
  • We also have pizza parlors,
  • Chinese food
  • A sushi restaurant
  • and a beauty parlor that does eyebrow threading, mani's and pedi's
  • We have banks,
  • ATM machines
  • Fireworks on New Years
  • and Night clubs
  • We have motorcycle cops
  • Police cars
  • and highways
  • Our cars have radios,
  • CD players,
  • and air conditioning
  • English is our national language
  • and Uganda is a country, making Africa a CONTINENT
  • We have lakes,
  • Mountains,
  • and Valleys
  • And despite what you may think...Uganda is generally green year-round
  • We have great weather (ranging from mid 60's to mid 90's depending on the time of year)
  • We have car dealerships
  • Auto repair shops
  • and photo studios
  • We have mormon missionaries in black trousers, white shirts, black ties and name tags, just like the USA
  • We also have Jehovah witness temples,
  • Mosques
  • Catholic Churches
  • and a variety of protestant churches
  • We have universities offering Phd's
  • MA's
  • and BA's
  • And, just like in the US, people in UG spend absurd amounts of money on their weddings
I am sure there are more things I haven't mentioned but well...If I tried to kill all the stereotypes that people hold about Africa in one blog, that blog might be a few miles long...

I hope this gives a clearer picture of life though, and just how much Uganda really has to offer!

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