Piece of Crap

Here is a short list of things in Uganda which suck: Bread. Cardboard boxes. Pens. Ketchup. It’s not complete. There are a lot of things here that suck, actually. The fact that children here die of easily preventable diseases, for example, sucks. The predicament of adults who planted coffee because some Mzungu researcher told them… Continue reading Piece of Crap

You’re Stealing, I’m Exploiting. You’re Black, I’m White. You’re Fired, I’m Fine.

Mitch Duneier – the ethnographer who advised my thesis – wrote a book called Slim’s Table with a chapter asking “I’m Black, You’re White, Who’s Innocent?” It’s a complicated question, but in Uganda, the answer is fait accompli. A few days ago, our project manager – a Ugandan named Charity – approached me and said… Continue reading You’re Stealing, I’m Exploiting. You’re Black, I’m White. You’re Fired, I’m Fine.

Ordering Food – My New Metaphor of Choice for Life in Uganda

When I first arrived, I declared that riding a boda encapsulated my experience in Uganda.  While there is still something appealing about spinning down potholed roads at night on a rickety motorbike with the cool tropical air whipping around me, recent events have made me switch to other modes of transport.  Namely, almost getting smacked… Continue reading Ordering Food – My New Metaphor of Choice for Life in Uganda

Win.

There are a million things that can go wrong with field research, a million variables that could be carefully controlled in a lab. Today pretty much set a record for things going wrong, though. Our Mutatu broke down in the middle of nowhere during a “shortcut” we took on a barely-existing road (a situation fixed… Continue reading Win.