A seemingly common phenomenon is never common cross culturally. This has proven to be true many times over, whether looking from an American or a Ugandan perspective.
I was sitting on the back veranda of the school during break time. Shouts of joy were all around, as some of the boys were kicking the ball in the field while other kids were playing cards or just talking near the classrooms. From a distance we heard a deep humming sound. Kids kept playing, but with their heads tilted slightly up. The sound got louder. The humming deeper. Then all of a sudden, there it was. It's a bird, it's a plane, it's.... a helicopter. "There is is! There it is!!" All playing stopped. All eyes were in the sky. Kids started jumping and waving and shouting, "Bududa! Bududa! Bye Bududa!" Some even threw stones to try to reach it! As the helicopter flew overhead and past the school, kids were running to follow its path. At this point, some of the older kids had returned from break and were teasing the younger ones, "Malo! Malo!" (translation: don't act like a villager). You would have thought that the helicopter was dropping sweeties out of the sky, the kids were so excited!
It was at that point that I realized this is just one of many occurances that are normal to me, but not to others. Thinking from my American perspective, of couse the sound of planes or helicopters overhead is fairly common- but not here. Actually, it is very rare to hear or see one. This also translates to my Ugandan perspecive- I (now) don't think twice when there is a man peeing on the side of the road in town or when every road through Mbale has potholes as big as a small fishing pond. But this is not normal in the American perspective. Again, a seemingly common phenomenon is never common cross culturally.
So, that is my story from the day. But, I will take this time to say that Mbale and LCH are fine and not directly effected by the recent mudslide that occured in the area. Though the rains are serious almost everyday, the mudslide was up in the mountains. I said the kids were shouting, "Bududa!" when the helicopter passed. Bududa is the area where the mudslides occured and the helicopters were going to bring relief aid. Please pray for this these people. Many have lost everything and are now displaced. Hundreds are still missing. Around 100 have died. And this is not an easy area for relief workers to go, seeing as roads are impassible. And I heard reports today that cholera has now hit that area. Please pray for them.