Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kelsey: America

I have been in Africa for 4 and a half months. This is the amount of time I require of myself before I can miss anything from home or complain about anything in Africa.

What you think I have been complaining during this whole blog? No. I have not. You will see.

I spent a few summers during college in different parts of the world working with short term mission teams. While this was one of the most educational experiences I could possibly have, short term teams can be difficult (annoying). Last summer I was in Haiti for the summer and I had been in Uganda since January with only one week in America between them. My second month into Haiti a short term kid told me that he missed American food so much that when he got home he would drive straight to McDonalds and then immediately to Chipotle. Then that night he would eat at Big Boy and Dairy Queen. Because 6 days without American fast food is basically starvation and torture. The kicker was this team ate American food their entire trip anyways. Plus the family who was hosting them makes some killer amazing everything food. It is literally impossible to miss American food if you are staying with Corrigan. I actually miss Corrigan food when I am back in America. For real.

Denis and I are planning a visit to America for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am very excited. Christmas in Africa (no snow) is just not the same. I mean they don't have Santa Clause here. My neighbor is named Santa and everyone thinks that is normal... It is not.

These are the top six things I can't wait to experience in America!

1. Infrastructure. I can't wait to drive on roads as smooth as butter. Roads without potholes. Roads that have pavement. Roads that have laws or just some semblance of rules. Soon I will be riding in a car and I will not be wondering the entire time if this will be the car ride that kills me. Even more important than roads, running water. Water that comes out of the tap that you can drink! Drinking water delivered right to your home! Electricity that never goes away. That means living without the constant anxiety that the power will go off at any moment and stay off for 36 hours. Oh and fast internet! My itunes account has really been missing me.

2. Autumn and the beginning of winter. The end of winter is the worst. I want snow until mid January and then I want Spring. We could completely get rid of February and March if it were up to me. It feels strange to be here and not have the weather change even the slightest bit. We are literally on the equator and the weather is exactly the same all year round. Its always June in Uganda. Winter in America means snow, hot drinks, sweaters, socks and all things cozy. I can't remember the last time I wore a sock. Uganda is wide open spaces under a giant sky but not cozy.

3.  Food. Cheese and salad and fish tacos and frozen yogurt. I really love Ugandan rice and beans but more than that I really love love food that is not fried! Everything we eat is fried. The beans, the rice, the vegetables, the bread, the eggs, the potatoes, all fried. Today I ordered a salad in town and it came with french fries. Not as a side dish but mixed into the salad. I have suspected this but it confirms that in Uganda french fries are a vegetable. What kind of a sick place is this? I can't wait to eat grilled chicken, sweet potatoes, ethnic food, breakfast cereals, skim milk, goat cheese, and tons of fresh pico de gallo. Yum.

4. Blending in. I want no one to notice me. That is the dream. Walk down the street and not have anyone look at me. No kids to touch my skin to see if the white rubs off. No creepy men yelling things at me. No one trying to charge me triple because of the color of my skin. No one to yell Mzungu (whitey) and stare. I want to be invisible.

5. No bugs. Mainly no mosquitos. No itching or chances of catching deadly disease from tiny flying insects all around you.

6. Family and friends. Or at least the ones who have not abandoned me for other states! You know who you are California, Colorado, and Michigan. Send my people back. Also D.C. please send Juli Smith, who never lived in IL but I feel like she did and I miss her like crazy. Thanks. But seriously can't wait to see my fam. My parents are sort of horrible at having children who live far away. And by horrible I mean they are awful at picking up the phone and calling their children. My sister and I complain about it all the time. You know those parents who even when you grow up they still want to know what you are doing and who you are with and what time you will be home, even though you dont live with them? Those are the opposite of my parents. My dad is very pragmatic and my mom is very chill. I once asked them if there was anywhere I could go that would make them worry about me (and therefore call me to check in on me). My dad answered, Afghanistan. So if I go to war they will worry and maybe call. But until that happens they will assume everything is peachy.

Speaking of America someone posted this picture on facebook of how America sees the rest of the world (yay ethnocentrism) and it cracked me up. Especially Canada.

See you soon America!


  1. I think my favorite part of this map is "santa!"

  2. I am happy to give you every pair of socks I own when you get here. We can make them into puppets when you are done with them then start a street ministry with them for the poachers I sent from the Lincoln Park Zoo. Even poachers can't resist sock puppets.

  3. OK, what do you put on your mosquito bites, do you have enough toilet paper, are the days all the same length, when the power is out and it is night time, do you just go to bed?Do you always carry a spare tire when you are driving on really bumpy roads, and, are you making sure your brother gets to school? Come drive down Sigwalt street over Thanksgiving week.....we've been repaved and are definitely feeling smooth as butter...and see your MI girl, her hubby and their puppy!...oh, and we'd love to hug you, too!

  4. Could I be on that list of friends you see? please :)

  5. Hahahahaha Joanna. You crack me up. Lets please make sock puppets and take them to the zoo.

    Amy I am totally coming by to visit!

    Rachel you are very high on the list!

    - Kels

  6. I'm going to eat some of my food for you tonight, if that makes you feel better. I miss your African tortillas. (I would have written what I think it's spelled, but it would have come out sounding like, "I miss ja body", which would just be awkward.

  7. Bahahaha Ja body. I have laughed out loud 5 times. I can't even explain it to people around me.

    - Kels