Sunday, January 2, 2011

Mzungu in Bugiri

Wherever we go I am an attraction for the local children – a freak show. Some children clutch their mother screaming, usually the younger ones. Some children stare curiously with mouth agape. Some children giggle and approach to touch me and then turn to run after poking me. When I take off my sunglasses and show my blue eyes, some gasp. These boys are enjoying jackfruit, a sweet sticky fruit abundant in this area that smells and tastes like Juicy Fruit gum. No hand shaking for me, but they did linger until we left.

Older children tend to hang around even after I shake their hands. These older children are treated to a lesson on doing the Electric Slide line dance. The effort occupies them and they forget about poking me in the rear and yanking my hair. Usually the older teen and early 20s girls make a real effort to join in. Lauren got a great video of this effort as we waited for our taxi to return us to Kampala, but the video won’t upload from Uganda so you’ll have to wait until I return to update this post.

This little one has a big belly. Often we wonder at whether or not these people can really be that hungry when their bellies look so full. Actually the bloating occurs from malnutrition. Not enough of the right nutrients in the body mean the muscles aren’t strong enough to hold the organs in place. Top that off with a good scare from the blue-eyed ghost and the poor boy didn’t have a chance when he finally noticed me.