Ja Mundu!

In such remote regions of the West Nile with such few white people, we tended to stand out. The local word for white people was “mundu,” and people driving by would call out “Yes, mundu!” as we walked down the road (what another volunteer called “drive-by confirmation”).

Fang Island – Daisy

I found myself just as fascinated whenever I saw another white person, despite their best attempts to look inconspicuous. Saying hello simply because we happened to have the same skin color seems a bit backwards, so amid exclamations of “mundu!” we would always awkwardly avoid eye contact as we passed.

Nabulo – Iryn Namubiru

The children in Warr were especially excited to see us. They were used to seeing Stevie, but now there were two mundu. They followed us as we walked, giggling and calling out “Hello! How are you?” (“hawayuu?”). When we asked them the same, they always answered “I’m fine!” with big smiles.

They loved to have their picture taken, and especially loved seeing themselves on my camera’s screen. After returning home one day, a large group of them waited around outside Stevie’s residence, saying “Mundu, come out!” and trying to peer through her frosted windows, asking “How are youuu?” in quiet voices.

I did come outside once with my camera to surprise them, and they were ecstatic:


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