Tips for the Mzungu in Uganda

1. Don't drink the lake water, ever.
2. You will be addressed as "mzungu," so listen for that
3. Know the word "weebale" which means thank you in Lugandan and is pronounced "waybahlay"
4. Also know sir: "sseebo," pronounced "saybow" and ma'am: "nyabo," pronounced as it appears
5. Don't eat while walking
6. Internet cafe is code for mzungu magnet
7. Do ride the boda bodas, and don't pay more than a thousand shillings per person to get across town.  While most travel sites advise against them, they're safe and convenient. If he is driving too fast, say "empola" which means slow
8. Bring lots of hand sanitizer and packs of Kleenex; often public bathrooms don't have toilet paper or soap.
9. Bring tums. Your diet will be different and you want to be functioning properly.
10. Wear appropriate clothing. While on the mainland, girls can get away with pants and a bit of your knees showing, but in general it's easier and more comfortable to wear long breezy skirts. If you are visiting the islands, you must wear long skirts. If you are unsure what is appropriate, ask before you arrive.
11. Seriously, don't drink the lake water.
12. Actually, don't even touch the lake water if you can avoid it. Often people may offer lake water for you to wash your hands. Be polite and use it only if you have finished eating, otherwise pretend if you can or have hand sanitizer handy, and be sneaky. You don't want to offend anyone by refusing, but you also don't want to risk contracting the diseases it carries.
13. Be impulsive and take chances. Talk to everyone. The best experiences I've had so far were because I went out on a limb and asked for a favor, a contact, or a suggestion. For example, because we had been doing so, Tessa and I found a ride to a conference for NGOs focusing on disability in Kampala and are now staying at their home in Jinja.
14. Have an open mind, and ask others when you hit a mental or emotional wall. Be careful not to react because what is abnormal to you may be someone else's normal and it is important not to impact someone's view of their own culture.
15. Ask, listen, and learn
16. Lastly, don't drink the lake water

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