When a volunteer commits to work with The Real Uganda, they receive a multi-page orientation document from us. Among other things, that document contains an exhaustive list of “What to Bring”. On that list is earplugs. I’m often asked, why earplugs? My friends, Uganda is a loud place.
You see, in Uganda, we party. We pray. We advertise. We live our lives communally. With music. With microphones. With serious sound systems. We need to make sure the entire neighbourhood knows what is happening and is included in our festive activities. Please know we do all this at any hour of the day (and night).
Now, Uganda is host to an array of visitors – tourists, expatriate workers, and international volunteers. They are here doing all sorts of things. But they need quiet in order to do those things. They come from countries where absolute silence prevails promptly at 10pm. They cannot thrive in our noisy environment.
Ugandans, this is where you come in. Our visitors need your help. They need to know they are invited to the party. Tell them that’s why the music and prayer are so loud. We want everyone within earshot to join in the fun. I honestly don’t think our visitors understand this. Help us to spread the word. They are really suffering. They need your help.
A case in point. In June 2016, we hosted a group of three volunteers who lived and worked in Buikwe Trading Centre. They lived right on the main road (loud), very near a Pentacostal church (periodically loud all night) and just in front of a Mosque (loud 5 times a day).
During our exit interview, David, Zach and Suellen agreed that all the noise at this placement was an issue. I asked if they brought their earplugs. They laughed and admitted that, while they did bring earplugs, they had totally forgotten to use them until their last 3 nights. Instead, Suellen said, they simply slept with their dancing shoes on.
Way to adapt to local customs, guys. Well done.
Want to experience the community, family love, and chaos that is Uganda? Think about spending a month or 3 volunteering in this country. We can’t promise you silence, but we guarantee you more life than you can possibly live! Browse a little more of this website and, if you like what you read, apply today. We accept volunteers on the 1st and 15th of every month. Come join the party.