Friday, December 24, 2010

Top 20 Lessons I Learned in Africa...the hard way!

1- Always pack a carry-on bag that contains at least 4 days worth of clothes.

2- Don't ever lose your electronic room key. Replacements have to be shipped in and the rest of your team will be penalized with having to turn in their keys at the front desk each night. (thanks Josh!) :-)

3- If your luggage doesn't arrive for several days, don't bother buying men's deodorant if you can't find women's deodorant. It's not really deodorant but a really, really potent cologne!

4- If you need to buy pants to sleep in because you are still waiting for your luggage, expect to only find M.C. Hammer looking pants at the store. There are no solid colored clothes to choose from. (You'll get used to the stares each night when you go downstairs for dinner.)

5- Don't pick up the cute little African baby sitting alone in a mixing bowl on the ground. There is a reason they are in a bowl. Mama may be using it as a makeshift diaper and you could end up with pee down your shirt. (But in Africa, that means you will be blessed with fertility!)

6- Don't make up your own dance moves when asked to dance in front of an entire African could frighten the children. (steve!)

7- If your local driver likes to listen to country music, expect to hear the same c.d. over and over and over again all week.

8- Always pack an electric adapter...but please note that your American hair dryer may overheat and blow the power in your room anyway because it's not used to the high current of electricity.

9- Don't wave up and down. Wave side ways. Africans will think you are trying to get them to come to you if you wave the wrong way.

10- And don't do the thumbs up! It means you've offended their mother....not that you really like something.

11- If you end up taking cold showers every day for 10 days straight, you may want to ask your team if there just happens to be a switch next to your front door to turn on the hot water heater.

12- Drink the ginger juice at your own risk.

13- Look for bones ANY time you eat fish or anything with beef in it.

14- Creamy licky. It's just the name of the local ice cream store.

15- African children do NOT like craisins....they are not delicious cranberry raisins...but are considered repulsive and will be spit out immediately.

16- If you get mud on your jeans, do NOT wipe it off with your hand. It may look like mud but it could be 'fertilizer' aka cow manure.

17- Do not go to Africa if you do not like eating chicken and rice for every meal.

18- As tempting as it may sound to eat American food again for a change, do NOT order the cheeseburger. You may end up flat on your back for a solid 32 hours.

19- If you get motion sickness, do not travel with World Vision. They have a knack for finding every bumpy road in Africa!

20- Do NOT cross your legs when sitting and greeting the local African chief. It's not ladylike ...but is actually considered offensive! ooops

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