AJ Bear on Faux Pas in Uganda

Some advice for the inexperienced traveller. Along with some rules that need to be adhered to.

Rule #1: Do not steal papayas- no matter how good they look. They will make you eat the evidence immediately.

Rule #2: Be prepared to accept a chicken when you go and visit schools. They will accept your kindness and generosity and bestow the best gift that they have available, to you. Be humble and gracious when you accept their gifts.

Rule #3: When stuck in traffic, do not lean out with your cell phone and try and take pictures of the Boda Bodas. (motorcycle taxis) Seriously, it’s an invitation for your phone to be stolen.

Rule #3. Do not go under a gorilla’s axilla. It smells. Obviously. (we had way too much time at the airport)

RULE #5: Last, but not least, do NOT under any circumstance, hitch a ride on the Boda Bodas. Unless you are a thrill seeker. Hardly anyone wears a helmet and there are upwards of 5 people piled up on the back of the bikes. Seriously- just walk. Doctor’s orders!

My absolute favorite faux pas is one that I’m not able to get permission to post. So I’ll just have to meet you personally and tell you about it. It’ll be worth inviting me out to dinner! I’m flying back today and not looking forward to the weather change but very excited to get home where I won’t make as many embarrassing mistakes.


  1. I enjoyed the stories of your travels and getting your perspective on the people and projects we support. It sounds like an exhausting three weeks and I agree, our CEO does seem to be a bit of a slave driver😉. All joking aside, I know your support, experience and knowledge was appreciated by all and for that I thank you, AJ and your family.
    Kelly Deis, Board Cjair HEAL International

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Salma for giving us a lens
    into your journey. We were there with you and realize how very fortunate we are to live here where doctors like you provide us the best care in the world. Thank you for that!! We are so blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

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