Sunday, 13 January 2013



As per personal pledges to a number of highly influential and potentially parental personae (Hi, Moms!) I have corralled Alex away from his hip travel blog Oh the Places Alex Hasn’t Gone Yet—much to the chagrin of his top-tier publishing house R__________ —in order to giddyup this here cooperative writing project.  That’s write (sorry), we’re gonna make sure that there aren’t any more month-and-a-half posting gaps by checking (insulting) and balancing (punching) one another!  Our egos and shoulders will be bruised, but at least you’ll know that we’re still alive.

The reason that we’ll be able to…inspire…each other thus is that we will be living in a room together for the next five months while we work as teachers at the Bishop Cipriano Secondary Schools in Luzira, Uganda.  Said room is in the residence of one Father John, an aging Catholic priest who may be the actual power behind this nation’s government.  Or so I was led to surmise by the fact that all bathrooms have bidets.  Padre Giovanni: Keeping Kampala Clean since LBJ!

The posts that follow will detail our trials, joys, victories, failures, and irretrievably dense senses of humor as we strive to unite the children of Uganda with a stronger grasp of English grammar.  English grammar being what it is I suspect there may be casualties.  Whether those be the students or their earnest young teachers only time will tell—time and perhaps a brief footnote in this blog.

As to the title: the Luganda word for “pasty object of foreign wonder” (The equatorial sun, as the Ugandan children have noticed, has rendered Alex a beet-red object of foreign wonder, for which a Lugandan word has not yet been invented) is Muzungu, as we were discreetly informed yesterday by a parade of children shouting it from the sidewalk. The plural of this friendly epithet is Bazungu.  We are that.  We are not, actually, brothers; however, I got one step closer to being adopted by the Blacks when I cooked fajitas at their house the other night… (don’t worry family, I don’t think I could pull their last name off so I’ll stick with you guys for now). 

Happy reading, sorry for anything you don’t like, please let us know either way ‘cuz we like you and would like to hear from you!

Sam Linder (just-now writer) and Alex Black (lazy bum/edit-ish dude)

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