Everywhere we look in Uganda we see women working. Their everyday chores are endless and we are constantly amazed at how hard they work. Carrying water, children and a heavy load on their head walking miles down the road. Digging in the garden. Preparing food. Tending to their huge families. Sweeping. Mopping. Pumping water. And the list goes on.
We wanted to see what life is like for Ugandan women and set out to try a few of their chores.
Walking we saw a woman working in her garden. She waved and chatted away to us in Lugandan or some other language we don’t know. We did some charades to ask if we could try working in her garden for her. She laughed her one toothed smile as Sarah made sad attempts at helping.
(She quit laughing as soon as the camera came out!)
We then met this woman who spoke perfect English. She told us she was going to plant sugar cane. We asked if we could come with her – it was a 6mile walk! We asked if we at least help carry it for awhile. I think if you listen carefully you can still hear her laughing…. Turns out it was hard to convince the women we wanted to help!
Then, we went to Living Hope. With some convincing, we got the women there to let us help with their morning tasks. They laughed the entire time and kept saying “You can actually sweep!! You know how to mop!!” If nothing more than comic relief, we helped them realize Canadian women have to clean homes too. (Note to self – pack long handled brooms and mops next time we come)
We then tried making peanut butter with the Living Hope women. We had no clue what we were doing – although they tried to show us a few times. We finally realized we were in most likelihood making more work for them by the mess we were creating than actually helping them.
So we left that task… as they laughed at us again. (You may recognize this beautiful face from my last visit to Uganda in June!)
We then went back to the village by our guest house. We did get Ann to let us help pick out soil and the bad ones from her beans she was preparing for supper. I don’t think we messed up this task too badly.
I should make a disclaimer – Sarah and I are NOT domestic and are terrible cooks and housekeepers at home… nevermind in a country without the conveniences we are use to. This photo is actually taken the second night we sat with Janet’s family to try to help with sweet potatoes. Both times was equally hilarious to her 10 children and the entire village. Her 3 year old daughter, Deborah, eventually grabbed the knife from me, and showed me how to do it. (Note to self – pack potato peelers for Janet next time I come)
And Janet laughed watching.
They mentioned they needed to go to get water – we asked if we could help with water. They all said “oh no! That is too far for you to walk! “ We finally convinced them we could in fact walk the distance – turns out it was about a 5minute walk. I’m growing increasingly convinced they must think North American women do nothing. :-) We pumped water and with each pump the kids laughed harder and harder.
We left Janet that evening asking if we could come and do some morning chores with her the next day. She said she would have some things prepared for us to do with her. When we arrived this morning, she had tea and buns prepared and insisted we sit and chat.
Because after all – that’s what we North American women do best. ha ha
We barely touched on what the Ugandan woman does in her daily life – but if nothing else, it gave us even more respect for all that they do… and gave them comic relief from the stress of their daily chores.