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Second Stories with Emily: Ugandan Time

Second Stories with Emily: Ugandan Time
October 5, 2016 No comments

Part II of Emily Kirk’s Second Stories, Emily experiences what it means to run on “Ugandan time.” If you have not yet met Emily, please read her intro here and join us as we follow Emily on her adventure!


The western culture is controlled by time. People are constantly concerned with making sure they have as much time possible — even if it means hurting people to make it happen. Rushing around, being in a haste and hustling is just a part of everyday life. But here, it is almost the complete opposite. Time has no control.

The people just live, rarely even knowing what time it is. They will come and talk to you for hours on end. Their schedule is constantly changing with the spontaneity of village life. The day never goes as scheduled, if it rains, or you see a friend, this could delay your entire day. These scattered events often causes you to be late or even miss whatever was planned next. Surprisingly, they are not frustrated or concerned when others are late either. They are understanding and joy-filled during the time that they spend together.

While they are much freer to live their life at their own pace, one of the largest downfalls this creates is a lack of efficiency. The people will spend their entire day on a task that would take one or two hours in the U.S. Because their jobs are so labor intensive, they go about their work slowly, drifting from a task to a break, in a cycle that repeats itself over and over again.

Growing up I always felt the pressure of time; will I get the job done fast enough? What if someone is faster then me? How do I become the fastest? But that is just not part of life here at all. I am learning to soak up the slow moments. I am learning how to put people and my relationships above efficiency.

-ems

Posted in: blog