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Friday, March 05, 2010

Gender Confusion

Yesterday I was in Bundibugyo Town, where I am not quite so common a sight as in Nyahuka.  I was waiting for Assusi and as I stood by my truck, then climbed in, I greeted a little group of primary school kids who were walking by.  There were a few 9 to 11 -ish looking kids, and one smaller girl.  The older ones told the younger ones that I was somehow related to "Kevini" (Kevin B).  As they walked away talking loudly about me (always a peculiar sensation, to hear peoples' conversations who assume I am so other-worldly I don't understand, to be talked about as if not present) I heard the younger one ask the older ones repeatedly:  Is that a MAN?  

Now, I was wearing a below-the knees flowered skirt, had my hair down, curly, below my shoulders, was wearing large dangling silver ear rings.  NO MEN here wear skirts, have long hair, or wear ear rings.  I was feeling pretty ugly actually, as this kid could not get her head around the fact that someone who looked like me could be female.  Then I realized the problem. I had sat in the car behind the steering wheel, and was preparing to DRIVE.  The activity of driving seemed to trump the clues of skirts and ear rings.  The bajungu are bizarre . . but surely if one drives, it must be male.  Her friends corrected her, explaining loudly that I was, in fact, female.

So, just another missionary contribution to the world, rocking primary-school-girls' gender identity, by the mind-blowing reality of a WOMAN DRIVER.


Karen said...

This one cracks me up!

Tim Wills said...

Oh, wow! (currently trying to not laugh -- amicably, and -- loudly in a house-full of sleeping people) ... crazy bajungu.