Even though English is the official language of Uganda, many of the words used are not what we would use in America. Today Keith went to Kampala with some other missionaries, so I asked him to pick up just a couple of things at the store. One of the items was corn starch, however, here the box is labeled "corn flour." I wrote on the list "corn flour" but forgot to explain to my husband exactly what I wanted. When I saw a bag of corn meal instead of a box of corn starch, I stared at it for several seconds before figuring out why I did not get what I asked for. Then I realized the confusion and had to chuckle at our communication problem. Let me share some other words or phrases that may cause confusion.
* A torch is a flashlight.
* To advance your car means to back up.
* A nursing home is a medical clinic.
* Pants are undergarments. Trousers is the correct word for the outerwear.
* Dismiss means to fire someone. We do not dismiss the congregation after church.
* To knock someone means that you ran into them.
* A sitting room is the living room.
* To shift means to move.
* A boot is the back section of your vehicle.
* A jerry can is a jug that comes in many different sizes.
* A kyo (choe) is an outhouse with no seat - just a hole.
So if (or when) you come to visit, don't be alarmed when I ask my son to bring me a torch, and don't be frightened when the gas attendant asks me to advance the van and I put it in reverse.