Saturday, November 23, 2013

The 2013 African Awards

Sipping tea in freezing Illinois, it seems impossible that a week ago I was in Africa. It is hard to believe that the reality of both places exist simultaneously and that in the matter of 24 hours (24 very,very long hours) you can be in the other reality.

I’m trying to process the experience of the last few months and have something meaningful to say. Those thoughts aren’t quite collected, so until then, here is something much less shallow, but nonetheless entertaining. When I was a Resident Director, we gave out ridiculous and arbitrary awards at the Christmas Party each year, and since I enjoyed that power, I have decided to give out awards to Africa. I believe that one day this will be a highly coveted award, and that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will host the ceremony. Until then, we will just use this smaller venue to announce the winners. In no particular order, I give you the 2013 African Awards....

Best Store: The Quicky Picky (Wobelinzi, Uganda) 

Least Appealing Establishment: Tied: The Tick Hotel and the KKK Restaurant (Uganda) 

Most Honest Nametag: No Sex Before Marriage (sported by a young man at church in Uganda) 

Boldest Public Health Tent: “Men Get Circumcised Today” (seen on the side of the road in Kampala) 

Best Personal Ad: Seeking a white, born-again, sugar mummy, age 30-35. (in the Kampala newspaper) 

Best River: The Nile 

Best Mode of Operation: The motorcycle (boda) 

Best quote: (under age 12 category) 

Right after Isaac (age 9) threw some trash on the side of the road.... 
"Isaac - in America, we call that littering." 
"Well, in Africa, we call it freedom." - Isaac 

Best quote: (male over age 12 category) 
Keith- “Emmanuel, don’t we need to put some more chorine in that well?” 
Emmanuel- “Keith, that water won't kill an African. It might kill you, but it won’t kill an African!” 

Best quote: (female over age 12 category)
"Nothing like some rebels to ruin a good road trip!" - Esther, on wanting to drive to South Africa with her friends

Biggest Hearthrob: Pee-Wee the driver (Liberia)

Although highly contested, I have to give it to Pee-Wee, who not only scored a soccer goal for me at a crazy game, but also attempted to save me from the ocean (although I was not in danger, he is petrified of the water and thus very brave). In his last moments with me, he told me he would learn to swim by the time I came back. A man who will face his fears, now that will win some points. 

That concludes the awards for this year. 

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