Sunday, July 10, 2011

July 10, 2011 8:30 AM

If I had a dime for every time I was asked to compare America and Uganda, I’d be a millionaire already.  People ask me this all the time and they don’t believe me when I say they aren’t comparable.  When you are asked such a question, where do you even begin?  For one thing, you don’t want people to feel bad about their country, so you don’t want to just tell them that America is 100 times better (which it isn’t).  But on the same note, that’s kind of what they want to hear.  They often ask about our staple crops.  And sometimes I don’t know what to tell them.  In the U.S. it is sometimes harder to know what we grow and what is imported.  A lot of people here have a hard time understanding that Americans are not necessarily as close to their agriculture and what they eat as Ugandans are.  They also ask a lot about whether or not we have villages or if it’s just big cities.  I guess in movies all they see are American cities, but it’s hard to explain that we have cities and suburbs (not quite villages).  They don’t usually believe me when I tell them that we have plenty of open space in the U.S.  They also don’t really understand that in different parts of the country things can be very different.  The people think differently, we grow different things and we live differently.  This one seems really funny to me because Uganda is a much smaller country than the U.S., yet there are many more different cultures here than in the U.S.  And there are definitely more languages.  So I don’t understand why Ugandans have such a hard time understand that America is kind of like that.  And then there is the end all be all question, “Which do you like better, Ugandan or America?”  This kind of goes back to my first point that you can’t really compare the two.  I try to explain that I can’t really answer that question and again they don’t believe me.  If they don’t really believe what I tell them, I’m not really sure why they ask me such questions in the first place…go figure!

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