Jane is to speak at a church in Mbale today. The car was supposed to arrive at 8am to get Jane there around 9am and I was going to ride into town as well with some of the guys from the orphanage to help me get some computer setup complete. Of course, we dropped Jane off at the church around 11am. We went to a location to work on the computers and sat in front of the door because the person that brought us there didn’t have a key. After a couple hours of this, we decided to go to another location because it was uncertain when the person with the key would show. (Of course, nobody thought that not having a key was an issue.)
After getting setup in the second location to work on computers, I began to try to teach these other three guys how to modify the computer to meet our needs. These are people that only have used computers to send emails because it costs too much money to use them at the internet cafes for anything else. For those of you who are curious, I was having these guys boot into a linux bootable CD (Knoppix), start a graphical partition editor, delete a partition, and create two partitions meeting my requirements. We had 10 computers to get through.
I attempted to explain what a hard drive was, what partitions are, and what file systems are. Those of you whom I have tried to teach before, you may remember that I am not somebody most people want for a teacher. I think it has to do with my lack of patience and creativity in presenting material. So, after many hours little was accomplished (relative to what I could have done on my own) and we were told that we would have to leave around 9pm because the president was in town and that there was a 11pm curfew.
So, the three of us working on the computers at that point headed over this woman’s house that we had went to earlier for dinner. She offered a place for us to sleep for the night so that we could get back to work in the morning. This woman, Ann, was an amazing hostess and incredibly hospitable. She had a few younger girls helping her cook, etc. However, I was quite disturbed because soon after we arrived each of the girls came out to use in the main room and got on her knees, extended her hand, and then said, “You’re welcome.” She would then waddle on her knees to the next person and do the same thing all around the room this happened and she went back into the kitchen to never show up again. Then not long after, one of the girls came out with a pitcher of water and a basin with soap and came to each of us so we could wash our hands. She said nothing, just served.
This type of behavior is very disturbing to me. There is a clear distinction between men and women in the more traditional style homes. Then on top of that, there is very much a mentality that white people are inherently better than Africans. Many people here simply believe that white people are superior; they see themselves as inferior mentally, physically, etc. It’s so very sad to see people live in this type of environment where women believe they are inferior to men and Africans believe they are inferior to white people.