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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Madame Bovary

There are many things volunteers have to get used to upon getting to site (or even simply arriving in-country). Lifestyle changes, dietary changes, among other things, cause a great deal of stress to many PCVs. In Uganda, there is something unique every volunteer has to get used to. Ugandan time.

Now, this isn’t your standard minority standard time. No, my friends. This is something completely different, way beyond any standard form of tardiness ever experienced by yours truly.

*Explanation of minority standard time: for those who don’t know, minority standard time (also known as Indian standard time) is the tendency for minorities (of any ethnicity) to be at least thirty minutes late to any function, appointment, or meeting. If you are having a dinner party and want to start at 7pm, you need to put 6:30 on the invitation. Seriously, it’s a legitimate phenomenon.*

Now, Ugandan time is when a Ugandan is AT LEAST three hours late to an event, appointment, or meeting. It seems that the thought process goes something along the lines of “the more important I think I am, the more I am going to make you wait”.

Case in point: The Buganda King has decided to make an appearance in Rakai District and have lunch at the Rakai Community School of Nursing (yup, my site). The schedule, as indicated by staff members at the school, suggested the king would arrive in time for lunch. In order to advice my colleagues when they should arrive, I tried to get a specific time of day. I was told at 1pm the program would begin, so of course I told my colleagues to come before 1pm. Little did I know, the rain (for lack of anyone or anything else to blame) would cause the king to be indefinitely late. I am writing this at 20 minutes to 8pm and there is still no word or sign of the king. I have heard some rumbles of excitement and music playing; however there has been no confirmed sighting of the king as yet.

Epic fail, king, epic fail.

And if you’re wondering, no, I have not eaten LUNCH yet. Lucky for me, I have some snacks (including corn nuts, trail mix, and Oreos which have all been consumed).

So what time did the king finally show up, you may be wondering?

The king finally arrived at 12pm THE NEXT DAY. Yeah. I wasn’t there to receive him; I ended up going to town to join in the festivities there. He apparently came into town too, but I never got to really see him. Oh well, my loss. I heard if I met him I’d have to get my bow on, full on bow, flat to the floor. Yeah, I’m not really into that. The festivities were fun and it was nice to have Dorothy come visit us in Rakai. Hopefully next time she’ll make the trek up my mountain.


1 comment:

  1. that is another level of minority time..and why didn't you eat lunch??? I would have been sooooo mad at the king...and there is no way I would have skipped lunch! You are sooo funny