by Bucky Rogers
Founder and Executive Director of Benjamin House Ministries
We’ve now been on the ground in Uganda for exactly one month. I’ve learned a lot…I’m learning a lot. Here’s the first 50 of my top 100 things I’m learning.
1-Everything takes longer in Uganda. Everything. What I used to be able to accomplish in an hour takes a day. It’s probably good for me to slow down some, but with someone like me, that’s a hard pill to swallow.
2-A closed gate does not mean neighbors won’t just come in anyway. Honestly I kinda like that.
3-There probably won’t be a day of my life from now on that I don’t have tears well up in my eyes.
4-When a Mzungu (Luganda term for white person) moves into the hood, everyone…EVERYONE knows it. haha
5-Boda Boda(motorcycle taxis) drivers do not realize that there are other cars, people, animals, potholes, speed bumps, etc. on the road.
6-I used to hear stories of kids living with HIV and I would feel bad for a bit and then go on with life. Now those kids are my life.
7-Teenagers are the same everywhere. Even if they don’t have a phone, they’ll hold up a calculator and pretend they’re taking a selfie. (saw it twice)
8-Getting a haircut from a Ugandan barber costs about 70 cents. Score.
9-Getting a haircut from a Ugandan barber who has never cut Mzungu hair before causes said barber to shake and sweat a lot.
10-Getting a haircut from a Ugandan barber causes the entire village to come watch.
11-Not having hot water for a shower is quite nice once you get used to it.
12-At least 95% of the people you see on a daily basis struggle to survive, and can’t imagine ever being able to change their circumstances.
13-Ugandans think its cold when it gets down to 70 degrees. coats, toboggans, scarves, blankets and the like are common.
14-When you hire a painter, its likely that much more than what you hired him to paint will end up with paint on it.
15-A bag of popcorn from a roadside merchant is 16 cents. And it makes his day every single time you buy some from him. Score.
16-When you find a business that doesn’t charge you double because you’re a Mzungu, you keep them…forever.
17-Ugandans, like everyone, can’t be lumped into categories with nice clean labels.
18-People here work hard and long. Things that take 10 minutes to do with a machine in America take 2 days to do with a strong back, a homemade pic-ax, and a wooden wheel barrow.
19-Just when you think to yourself “There’s no way he can carry that on his head” he’s throws it up there and carries it a mile or two.
20-When you take Ambien the first few nights in a new country as you adjust to the time difference, go to be IMMEDIATELY. If not, you end up doing very embarrassing things that your family and team talk about nearly every day thereafter.
21-Kids all over the world always want something. Most of the kids here really just want an adult to love and lead them.
22-Soccer doesn’t require a soccer ball…or goal…or level ground.
23-Skin color stinks. I wish I could take a pill that would make me black…or a pill that could make everyone blind to skin color.
24-Electricity works…sometimes…in some outlets…with some things…if you stand on one foot and recite the alphabet.
25-When the carpenter says he can make you a table and chairs for less than you can buy them in a store and he says he will be done in 2 weeks, he really means that after 3 months he might have secured the wood to make them…maybe.
26-There are scars on every Ugandan; internal and external.
27-When you are car shopping from an individual seller and you arrange to meet up to see the vehicle, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the vehicle or the person actually exists.
28-Evidently there are still cannibals in some parts of Uganda. Or maybe its a story they tell children to keep them from wandering away alone…but no one seems to want to tell me which is true.
29-You have to dust everything in your house…every…day.
30-Sometimes, when you’re in a meeting with a lawyer, negotiating a contract, he asks you what your favorite song is and then gets up and proceeds to play it on a keyboard and tells you to sing it for him.
31-Sometimes, when you’re planning your Saturday, you get a call to come to the Egyptian ambassador’s house party and end up in the newspaper.
32-It’s not a good idea to read through a book of letters from people you love back in the states. ever. for any reason. unless you just really need to flush something out of your eyes.
33-It costs about 50 cents to have a garment altered by a skilled tailor. Score.
34-I miss DJ Horton’s preaching. That’s all I’ll say about that.
35-Just when you think everyone in the states has moved on with life, you get a message…and cry yet again.
36-I’m pretty sure I’ll never be fully hydrated ever again.
37-Getting anywhere that requires getting in a vehicle takes at least an hour longer than you thought it would.
38-There’s no such thing as right-of-way.
39-While most teenagers in the US hate school and try their best to find ways to skip, Ugandans love school and work very hard (sometimes selling things on the streets up to after midnight) in order to pay for it.
40-The side of the main road works as a fine substitute for a restroom.
41-Mayonnaise costs a fortune (please bring me mayo!!!)
42-You say a prayer here before you get on a road for any reason, not just before long trips asking for “traveling mercy” whatever that is.
43-Desperation causes people to make choices they otherwise would not make.
44-I still believe God can reshape an entire nation, and I’m praying for it every day.
45-God’s people, when they see a compelling need, can show up in force to support and provide for it. I’ve never been more encouraged by the generosity of believers all over the states.
46-Literally everywhere you are, there are people who desperately need Jesus…and clean water.
47-Just because someone says they know Jesus, and has”Jesus Saves” painted on the back of their taxi, doesn’t mean they’re a Christian.
48-Trying to text while on the back of a boda boda isn’t wise most of the time.
49-People here are so hungry for truth, and the freedom on their faces as they are being released from years of heretical and dangerous teaching is quite overwhelming.
50-God is good, He is at work, and we’re not stopping.
Please keep praying. If you feel like you can give, head over to benjaminhouse.net and click donate. A dollar accomplishes so much here. God has given us a big dream and we know that He will provide in His time. Thanks for holding us up!
Bucky, Julie, and the Benjamin House Team.
Bucky Rogers, Benjamin House staff, and short-term missionaries