I\’m jus\’ sayin\’

March 9, 2008

Ugandan in snow

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bwandungi @ 2:08 am

I’m in Canada and contributing to the decried brain drain that’s happening faster than a violent suction toilet. Not my fault since they REFUSE to hire women engineers and give them decent salaries! I need Manolos too!

This winter has been really snowy. When people say it snowed, I have an idea in my head what it means. I’ve seen the news reports and followed weather patterns and have some kind of basic understanding of snowy conditions… or so I believed! In Ottawa, the snowbanks are so high you cannot see traffic coming around the corner because of them. My poor sister-in-law who is 5’4 is about 6 inches shorter than the snow piled up in their back yard. My brother had to shovel the snow from the door to the backyard so it can be opened and 30 minutes later, the snow is around it again. There is at least 3 feet of snow on top of the little shed outside and we cannot open the door to the backyard coz snow will fall in.

So, what does this Ugandan decide to do today? She looks out to the snow and thinks, “How white and soft and wonderful it looks outside!”

I heard my brother yell up the stairs, “Evelyn is taking you tobogganing!”

“F-a-b-u-l-o-u-s!” Came my very certain reply. I is Ugandan. I is not afraid of nottin’. Nottin’ whatsoeva!

Bundled up in my best Houston winter clothes (Ha!) I trudged out of the house with my sister-in-law and her sisters. Immediately I got overwhelmed walking down the small path to the parking lot. It’s a 1 minute walk, so you can see I’m in trouble already. We trudged through the not yet shoveled parking lot to the hill behind the condo complex, where three black boys were using snowboards and some other inconspicuous equipment to hurtle themselves down the hill. Down this dangerous hill that was beginning to look like a mountain.

It’s been long since I really understood what snow was all about. When there was a dusting of snow in Kansas, people would go NUTS and the highways would be jammed with traffic and no one would go out for any reason what so ever. Once there was sufficient snow outside my bachelor apartment and I decided to put it to good use. I built a snowperson. Snowperson because it turned out to be rather androgynous. But I did make sure to give it shoelaces!

Nothing in my recent memory could have prepared me for the experience I was about to have.

Evelyn, my sister-in-law was excited to be outside. She quickly climbed onto one of the embankments and slid down on her crazy carpet. She seemed energized by the stuff!


I trailed behind them, taking a crazy carpet with me. Please do not assume that I am interested in using this flimsy piece of plastic to get my roly-poly self down the hill. Climbing a hill is not my most favorite thing to do, but doing it in about1.5 feet of snow (almost 2 ft in some places), struggling to get a foothold and sliding back a few times doesn’t really count high on the list of favorite things to do. But I was determined to show these young ‘uns how it was done!


Obviously, this was going exactly as planned! The girls were already at the top of the hill and I was still wading through it all trying hard not to look stupid doing it. My basketball air Nikes were not working their wonders this time around. I had to literally thrust my foot into the snow to pack it together so I could get a foothold. Halfway up the hill I had to take a breather.


I made it to the top and got situated on the sled behind Evelyn’s sister, Lisa. I’ve seen Calvin and Hobbes comics and know that it’s better to be in the back. Plus, I had this plan… if it was going to fast. I was going to launch myself off the sled onto the snow and be done with the ride! Super plan, which with precise execution could make me look fabulous and all snow knowing.


Evelyn pulled us to the edge of the hill. The snow was blowing towards us and we were going fast. Suddenly I was out of breath and seeing visions, which included my untimely demise. So guess what I did? I put my plan into action and launched myself off the side of the sled. However, the launch was incomplete because I forgot the lower half of my body and caused the sled to roll sideways. When we hit the snow, we carved out a side of the hill and rolled in the snow for a couple of feet.


I’m all for lady-like dismounts, but this one was unfortunate. I was covered in snow, but happy and ready to try it again! Or so I thought. Once was certainly not enough and I wanted to be able to represent! So I took a look at the hill and started to climb it again!


But the hill defeated me, and instead I was given a crazy carpet to try and slide on to the bottom of the hill. As you can see here, there are a couple of things to wrestle with. The snow was really high, impeding forward movement and there was snow trying to find it’s way into my underpants!


So, in true african style, I blamed the hill for defeating me, did a little dance around it to seal the curse (may it never grow to see grandchildren) and left with the girls to go warm myself.

It was pretty successful I think. I’ll be going out again to wrangle the hill and see what else I could do out there, but for now I’m grateful to be indoors where it is warm and where I can have a hot cup of chai to warm my bones!



  1. Uganda had it coming. let them drain away!

    Comment by ivan — March 9, 2008 @ 11:03 am | Reply

  2. Very cool! My good friend from Uganda, artist Fred Mutebi, got to experience a very unusual heavy snowfall here in Dallas last week. He’s convinced that it was a sign that Jesus is about to come back soon. We’ll see!

    Comment by Otim Michael — March 9, 2008 @ 10:23 pm | Reply

  3. Eh, maama. Nga weesiimye!

    But, nah. My blood is way too tropical, I get a tense feeling when the clouds cover the sun. Snow? That would have me crying for Ma. Especially if I have to go out into it.

    I like the “curse” conclusion. It’s even beautiful. 🙂

    Comment by The 27th Comrade — March 10, 2008 @ 4:50 am | Reply

  4. Calvin and Hobbes should not … say it with me … not be a reference for how to enjoy any kind of ‘sport’.

    Meanwhile, some looking like a Ugandan abominable snowman. Har.

    Comment by tumwijuke — March 11, 2008 @ 4:18 am | Reply

  5. this looks like so much fun!

    Comment by 31337t — March 11, 2008 @ 6:47 am | Reply

  6. i wanna play in the snow…

    Comment by Jewel — May 19, 2008 @ 1:04 pm | Reply

  7. Wow, you needed to dig yourself out from the heavy snow

    Comment by Tong — October 4, 2009 @ 10:05 pm | Reply

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