since we’ve gotten back, there are a few questions we’ve been asked numerous times. as such, this post is dedicated to Q&A, in no order at all. And we’ll add to this as the questions keep coming in.
Q: What did you eat?
A: A lot of rice. A lot. We really liked the cabbage, mandaz, chapat (chapati), G.nut sauce (i.e. sauce made of groundnuts), and tomato sauce on the rice. Shira makes a really good omelet with tomato and onion–it’s a shakshuka sort of thing, but a good one–not like what we got in Migdal Oz. Maize is good–boiled is fine, but roasted is absolutely delicious. Fried G.nuts are so freakin good that one morning when I woke up super early, I just finished our whole bowl of them (sorry guys) while reading Heschel before the others woke up and it was a perfect morning start. Beans were fine too, sometimes. We liked less the poshu (maize flour, hot water, and “mingle”), and millet bread Shira didn’t even try to feed us (millet flour, cassava flour, hot water, and “mingle”). And Mindy and I really couldn’t handle the cassava, but Aryeh liked it. Matoke was another machloket. Sometimes we had spaghetti also.
Q: So how did they become Jewish?
A: In the early 1900’s, the British wanted to expand their rule eastward from Kampala, so they had this man, Kakungulu, a collaborator, help them out. Anyway, he succeeded in so doing, and, as a prize, he got what all people who succeeded in doing stuff like this got–a piece of land and the Christian Bible. Anyway, he read the Bible, but only liked the Old Testament, i.e. the Tanach. Anyway, they told him that people who only believe in the Old Testament are called Jews, so he said he’ll be a Jew. Anyway, he converted in 1919 and ordered a mass circumcision in 1920 and from then on, his followers and descendents were Jews.
We’re not quite sure how much of Jewish practice stemmed from Kakungulu’s days and how much was from when people came to visit later. Probably a combo.
Much much later, people started visiting the Jewish community (communities) and taught them and spread awareness about them. Kulanu got involved and organized a conversion through the Conservative movement a bunch of years back. Now Putti is seeking an Orthodox giur.
Q: So did you contract diseases?
A: M and I each got a pretty bad cold at some point, probably due to lack of air circulation while we slept and lots of dust storms, but short of that, I think we’re okay, bli ayin hara be’ezrat Hashem. We’re still (supposed to be) taking malaria pills, so time will tell on that front, but so far so good.
Q: How was?
A: Really incredible, just so different, such an experience of its own. Look at pictures to get some sense of it maybe?
Q: Was it absolutely amazing?