Common Myths about Uganda
With every place comes a lot of myths. With Africa and Uganda being so disconnected from the developing world, these misunderstandings have become detrimental to our image of an entire continent.
"You're Most Welcome"
Uganda is one of the most hospitable countries in the world. Upon arrival, you'll likely be generously welcomed by everyone you meet, and will continue to find gracious hosts where you go.
Just because everyone is welcome doesn't mean there aren't a few ways well-intentioned but uninformed people can be tiresome to their hosts. As a guest in someone else's country, it's important to be mindful for their beliefs, culture, and dignity. Here are a few tips that will give you a leg up in that department.
Myth #1: Africa is a Country
Africa has more land mass than the United States, China, Mexico, India, and Western Europe combined. Uganda, on the other hand, is the size of Oregon. Africa is made up of 54 countries and an estimated 3,000+ tribes. This continent is about as diverse in land, resources, culture, and people as all the other countries listed above are from one another. Keep all of this under consideration when you're making statements about "Africa."
Sidenote: some people back home don't know Uganda is in Africa, so sometimes we use the phrase "East Africa" to be clear with them but maintain accuracy.
Myth #2: It's just a bottomless pit of need
We've all seen the commercials with the fly covered children in ratty clothes that look on the brink of starvation. Yes, the need is great, but what if that's not the only story worth telling?
Myth #3: It's Savage and Dangerous
I think this assumption is tied to both myth #2, and the fact that we watch way too much TV. It's natural to be cautious of what we don't know or understand. It feels unpredictable to us. But be careful when you find yourself assuming the worst in people because you haven't taken the time to understand their differences.