Updated: Feb 26, 2021
Traveling is one of the things I enjoy. Going to completely new environments, meeting new people, trying to learn their culture, these are some of the reasons why I like to travel.
I live in Uganda, I was born and raised here. This country is beautiful, really. But it’s not developed; it is referred to as a third world country. So getting a visa to go to the ‘first world’ countries, you are to show the embassy that you have a life here (in your country) good enough to return after your visit..
I thank God that I got the visa. And that I went and came back, though I have no right to pass judgment on whoever goes and decides not to return even without the right paperwork. To each their own. For so long I looked forward to an opportunity to visit America! It is such a huge contrast to my country. Things there work different, even people work different!
The customer service; being warmly welcomed in the stores, the way people smile at you in the stores..wow! This is unheard of in Uganda, where people just drag their feet to give you any sort of service (if they serve you at all!).
My First Visit To The USA
I knew that I would find things different here, but hearing about it from someone else is one thing, and personal experience is totally another. For example some people had told me that people in America are very busy and always in a rush to get to their next appointment that you cannot ask for say directions from anyone.
That is not entirely true. Busy and seeming in a rush, yes but on several occasions me and my husband were able to ask for directions and the people were more than willing to help. I like it when people make the effort to make small talk, and it was good when say after shopping at Wal-Mart the cashier would ask how we are doing, or if we found everything ok (the latter is used a lot in the stores in America). In Uganda, a cashier at a supermarket or a bank saying hullo to you seems so much for them, and if they do it’s rare that you will get a smile. The few that do it are doing it out of duty and you can tell.
At fast food restaurants, it is actually fast! Now I know what Lee (that is my husband’s name) put up with waiting for service in our ‘fast food’ places where you wait for over 30 minutes. service at restaurants like Texas Road House (my favorite),was very fast too. From when the waiter/waitress welcomes you, taking your order, walking away, coming back with your drinks and food, to finally bringing the check, it’s all done fast! Then the infrastructure..my my! By faith and grace, I have hope that someday we will have buildings and roads, well planned like what I saw in America. For example the interstate highway system is so organized and efficient. I most definitely would enjoy driving here.
Lee and I did several road trips to different states. There are several rest areas, with very clean restrooms, running water, toilet paper and hand washing soap. I actually looked forward to the road trips because it was so much fun driving on roads with no potholes, drinking water and not worrying if I will get a (clean) toilet.
We went in June, summer was on. Sometimes temperatures would be 100, the lowest I saw while we there was in the 80s. I had never experienced such heat (I’m sure i will say the same about winter). Most times when I got out of the car, I would run to the spot where we are going so as to get out of the heat and cool down. The great thing is that I did not go any place with no working AC. Uganda’s temperatures do not get any where that high, and AC is an expensive luxury here. Even if it was affordable, we get power cuts for different reasons throughout the day. Like today, it went off at 9am and its past 1pm.
I had a great and blessed time, and I’m very grateful to God for making it happen. I will write more about this trip in part two. Political discussions, being the only person of color (read black) in restaurants on several occasions, buying ‘made in china’ in America among others. Thank you for taking time to read. God bless you:)