Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Top Ten Things I Wish I Had Known

1. If you bring a sick child to the emergency room, make sure you remember to bring their medical number card, or they will not receive any care until you go home to get it.
2. Do not confuse the word for the number ten, “kumi”, with the word “kuma” which is a vulgar word for female reproductive organs. Especially try not to make this mistake in front of several children and nurses at a clinic in a very loud voice.
3. Be careful when eating rice and beans because if you bite down too hard you could break your tooth on a stone the size of a pea.
4. Try to sit toward near the window on a crowded daladala because that may be the only way you can get out without inconveniencing 15 people.
5. Make sure to check to make sure your skirt is not tucked into your underwear after using the bathroom.
6. When you flush a squatter toilet, if it is flushable, make sure you back away from it first unless you want wet feet.
7. If your friend gets pulled over by two police officers on a motorcycle for going the wrong way down a one way street, bribe them with 3000 shillings (apx. $2.50) to get out of it.
8. If you are using the bathroom at Amani toward the end of the day, make sure to bring your cell phone with you in case the night staff accidently locks you in.
9. Do not give your phone number to teenage girls that you meet on the street because they tell you they want a ‘mzungu friend’ (western friend). They will call you non-stop from different numbers…even if you don’t answer any of the calls.
10. When men who are old enough to be your father ask you to marry them and offer you their cows as your bride price…remember that they are being serious and that you should only say yes if you truly mean it.

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