Facts from Enoch

  1. The minimum waiting time for food in a restaurant is at least 50 minutes, the longest time that I was stuck in a restaurant was almost 2 hrs.
  2. Mosquitoes are not only active at night. There are mosquitoes in the day too. In some places there are tse tse flies. You can recognize them because they have triangular bodies. Like mosquitoes they bite and they can transmit the sleeping sickness. It’s actually fun to let the tse tse flies drink your blood and then hold their heads till they get too full and explode.
  3. A rare country in which it is safe to walk outside at night is Rwanda. We actually used to walk to restaurants from our hotel late at night and had no problems.
  4. In Africa there are different types of taxis. Cars (for example, in Rwanda the average price for one hour in a taxi is 8000 rwf($12)) ; matatus that are like minibuses and follow a fixed route ; taxi-motos which are motorbikes and taxi-velos which are bicycles.
  5. Try to avoid swimming in any lakes because even when people say that they are bilharzia-free they often still have bilharzia. So do try to avoid swimming in any lake unless you are very sure it is safe. Bilharzia is dangerous parasite which goes into your liver and lays eggs.
  6. People dry laundry in Africa in many different ways. For example: hanging it on tree branches, putting it on the grass, laying it on their roof. Some people have hangers on some sticks. There might be more ways that I do not know yet.
  7. All the schools have very bright coloured uniforms because some students tend to escape or just not go to school when they are supposed to.  People need to know when the students are supposed to be in school so they usually have bright pink and bright purple uniforms, even for the boys.
  8. In Rwanda they do not allow plastic bags such as those from supermarkets. Only bags like ziploc or reusable bags are permitted. If you do have plastic bags when you enter the country they will throw away your bags and embarass you at Customs in front of everyone. Thanks to that rule, Rwanda is the cleanest country in Africa.
  9. In Africa the women carry everything on their heads. The children too do it. They will put buckets of potatos or huge logs and piles of fire wood and even canisters of water on their heads!
  10. In Africa most of the children drop out of school after primary school because their parents want them to work on the farm or go herding cattle, or just help at home.
  11. Uganda and other countries in East Africa are not so strict. For example if you exceed the speed limit by 10 km/hr the police won’t care much. In Rwanda if the police catch you over the limit by just 1km/hr they will fine you immediately.
  12. In Africa there are many minibuses recycled from Hong Kong and Japan. In Hong Kong the passenger  limit is 13 people, including the driver. In Africa they sometimes cram more than 30 people in with more hanging on to the sides and a lot of luggage on the roof.
  13. In a lot of places in Africa there are no street lamps. At night it is pitch black and people walk with no lights. In Kigali, however, there are street lights everywhere. Strangely, in Gisenyi, another city in Rwanda, there are street lamps everywhere too but almost all of them are turned off !
  14. In Africa the average price for a tube of Pringles is about 5$ us and they are hard to find.
  15. When you stop at a traffic light you do not need a convenience store. There is pretty much all you need to buy at a  traffic light because people sell, drinks, snacks, tools, clothes, radios, fruits and vegetables, phones, DVD’s. Everything you can imagine!
  16. In almost all of the cars in Africa all of the windows and mirrors have the number plate of the car because people are worried that an other person might steal the parts and sell them.
  17. In Rwanda they have so much electricity to waste that they have little red lights on the road to tell you if you are going the wrong way and green lights if you are going the right way.  On speed bumps there are red and blue lights.
  18. African people really like beading or weaving baskets. About 75% of the shops in Africa will sell small baskets, bracelets or necklaces.
  19. In Africa the people keep cattle not only for food and milk but also as a sign of wealth. People also need cows because when they get married, the man has to give a certain number of cows to the bride. The number of cows is for the bride to decide and the man to negotiate with the bride’s family.
  20. Everybody thinks that in Africa it is really hot but in the highlands it can get to under 10 degrees celsius. On the top of mountains it can get down to below zero.
  21. In Africa people can catch really big fish with just a simple fishing line, even with no bait.
  22. One day we were driving and we stopped at a road block. There, we saw three policemen with their shirts off, and they just waved us past without looking.
  23. Ethiopians cannot survive a week without injera, the pancakes they use as a plate liner and they also eat it at the same time with their hands.
  24. In West Africa it is rude to look at adults in their eyes while you are talking to them. In the rest of the world it is respectful to look at people in their eyes when you are talking to them.
  25. One palm tree has lots of uses in Africa.
    It can be used for making oil, the fruits can be used to make red oil and the seed in the fruit can make a black oil, they can make palm wine and from the palm wine they can make palm whiskey, they even eat the maggots inside the palm tree can be a meal.The palm fronds can be used to thatch roof, when it disintegrates in water it becomes fish food. The cotton from the branches is used for stuffing pillows.The  branches and trunk can be used as firewood. The central axis of the palm frond can be used to make a broom if you gather enough.
  26. Eucalyptus trees were introduced from Australia to be used as fire wood in some African countries.They used this tree for fire wood because it grows fast.
    The only problem was that it used lots of water, which is so scarce in Africa.
  27. In Africa people play games on the roadside, such as ping pong,football,billiards and fussball
  28. In Ethiopia they have a very Christian culture so they have lots of churches everywhere. They make you take your shoes off before entering a church.
  29. When reading clocks in Ethiopia you have to add 6 hours, so if it’s 6 PM Ethiopian time  then it is midnight for us.
    This can be very confusing !
  30. Ostrich eggs are awesome!!!!!  They weigh about 2 kg and are equivalent to 25 chicken eggs. It also takes 2 hours to hard boil one!?
  31. In South Africa during Apartheid, they asked stupid questions to classify a person’s race. For example they will ask a mixed child what they call black coffee with milk. If they answer “black coffee with milk” they are classified as “black”, but if they answered “white coffee” they would be classified as “coloured”.
    They had similar retarded systems in Rwanda with the Tutsis & the Hutus.
  32. In Africa people turn off their engines on a car or bike when there going down hill to save petrol.
  33. In South Africa kids, especially white ones, don’t wear shoes.
  34. In Zimbabwe they have very very very very very very very very very hard fries and in South Africa they have very very very very very very very very soggy fries.
  35. In Zimbabwe police can give you a fine for having a dirty car.
  36. In Zimbabwe if people at supermarkets don’t have change they’ll give you air time.
  37. In most of Southern Africa (Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana) you have to have two triangles and one fire extinguisher in your car or else you will be fined by police. 
  38. Most Africans, when they go to a buffet, will only get food once and pile a huge heap onto their plates. They never go back for seconds.
  39. A few years ago in Zimbabwe there was huge inflation so the biggest bill issued was 50,000,000,000 Zimbabwe dollars ! One of our friend even received a cheque for 250 quadrillion Zimbabwe dollars (equivalent to about $20 !!!)