Saturday, February 11, 2012

The "You are Too Fat" Experience

by Marjorie BrocePastor Dennis took us to look at cars the other day.  Pastor Dennis is Pastor Joshua's right hand man.   He is very loyal to God and the church and was entrusted to drive us around and to help us during the first few weeks of our arrival here in Uganda.

Penurious Parking

Arriving at the car lot was an experience right off the bat.  In order to park, the attendant had to pull a car out and then we drove in about two car lengths with no where to go past that. And then they parked someone right behind us.  So, when we wanted out later on, we waited and waited and finally Pastor Dennis went and got someone who moved the car behind us and directed us out very slowly since we were so tightly packed in near other vehicles.

Pack 'em in Like Sardines 

The car lot had at least 100 cars or more on the "lot" that were so tightly packed in that you could barely squeeze by sideways.  We were taken to see three vans and for each one, the salesman with us called on his cell phone to bring a key, which took a little while.  We were allowed to look at the engine, turn the engine on, sit inside, try the air conditioning (YES!  They DO have air in their cars!)  But, you are NOT allowed to test drive.  And how would one test drive anyway? 

Then, when a car is found that one wants to buy, you go back to the office and haggle.  Thankfully, Pastor Dennis haggled for us at the second lot we went to.  It was fun to see him in action!  After buying a car, I'm sure they have to move about 20 cars just to get ours out.  Then, because the car has probably been sitting in China for a long time, no matter how the tires look, one must buy new tires and have the car serviced.

You Are Too Fat!

I wanted to open the side door on one van to get in but the space between it and the next car was so narrow that I just stood there and looked for a minute trying to assess the best way to get in.  I COULD have squeezed by sideways but a very helpful salesman said, "You are too fat.  You can't squeeze through there."  Thankfully, I understood that he wasn't putting me down.  To be "fat" is prosperous.   I said, "Yes, they are squeezed so tightly together!"  He said, "We try to use the land to it's maximum."

I laughed as I told Glenn our little conversation.  It's not the first time I've been called fat in Africa.  The first time was in Kenya in 2006 when 4 of us were trying to squeeze in the back of a small sedan and the door would barely shut.  The conversation went something like this: Pastor's wife: "You're fat!"  I was just a little taken aback, but realizing that she would never say anything to hurt me, I said, "In America, that is NOT a good thing."  She said, "Well, here it is.  Here is means that you have food and so your are prosperous."

In that case, I wouldn't mind losing some of
THAT kind of prosperity!

Here is our "new"vehicle!  It's a '97, has only 43,000 miles on it, and looks almost new on the inside.  I love the little details that God thinks about!  We used to have a van in Germany where the captain chairs in the middle could turn around and face the back bench seat and I really liked it!   Well, this van does the same!  Thank  you Lord and thank you partners!


  1. Hee hee hee, Marji. I guess I am REALLY REALLY PROSPEROUS!

  2. LOL--YUP!! Lot of us "prosperous" folks around here. LOL :)

  3. Marjorie...that reminds me of a story . Our pastors are from Nigeria and when they first came to Canada our Pastor was asked what his wife was like (she was still back in Africa) and he said to the person asking.."well she is not as fat as you"...I laughed so hard when I heard that story. Cultural differences for sure...and somewhat similar to here as well, where nicknames like "Chinito " are not considered derogatory. I am enjoying following your God adventure by the way.

  4. Marjorie, you make us feel like we are there with your stories. Thank you for taking the time to keep us part of your mission.
    Love to all of you.