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Some Surprises of Africa

Emily Jost

By Emily Jost, 2015 Noble-Watoto Fellow

Posted Apr. 10, 2015

I've been accumulating a list of things that have been eye-opening to me here in Uganda. Some of the things I'd heard about but was still surprised when I saw them. And some things were a pure surprise.

Every cookhouse (where they cook for workers, school children, etc.) that I've seen so far is a metal, enclosed shack. Cooking on charcoal occurs inside, where a woman and usually her child watch over the food.

cookhouseThe cookhouse at one of the farms.

the cookThe cook and her baby, Barbara.

I'm always amazed at the number of people just walking along the roadsides, even in the middle of the day. I always wonder where they are heading. I'm even more amazed at the number of curious children who stop and watch the people working. The little boy below stopped to watch for more than 30 minutes. Doesn't he have somewhere he needs to be? Like at school?

little boyA little boy stopped for a while to watch us digging a trench.

The sunsets and sunrises here. Enough said.

sunrise

another sunrise

Things can get done so fast! And all by hand. Below is an example of an implement that was shipped in a container in pieces, and in just a couple of work hours, it was completely assembled and ready to put to use.

implementsThe implement fresh out of the container.

implement assembledThe implement assembled.

Norwegian people are some of the kindest, easily accepting people and unrelenting lovers of African babies. I've enjoyed having them as my housemates.

norwegian housematesMy Norwegian housemates.

One of the farm managers and I made a run to the store, and I found out he'd never driven a car before. He said, "Why would I learn if I cannot afford a car?" That conversation ended with him driving us home.

taught sunday how to driveI taught Sunday to drive a car.

We've heard about the major income gap in a lot of Africa. It's easily seen from my hotel's roof. I live in a pretty nice hotel, but the view around it shows how the majority of other people in Kampala live.

living conditionsThe contrast between where I live and the way other people live not so far away.

We had the privilege of seeing the national sport of Africa. Soccer here is loud and confusing and a little less disciplined.

soccerThe soccer field and all the spectators.

Matatus are very common means of transportation for many people. They are supposed to be much safer than boda-bodas, the motorcycle taxies, but I didn't trust them after the accident we saw. There were fatalities. After being here for two months and never seeing a wreck despite the crazy driving, this was definitely scary.

About the Author

Emily Jost is a 2015 Noble-Watoto Fellow working at Watoto Child Care Ministries in Uganda. Jost is from Edmond, Oklahoma, and is in her final semester in the master of international agriculture program at Oklahoma State University, where she focuses on sustainable development.

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