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Re: It’s Ms. Mzungu, thank you!

June 12, 2011

Hi Cam,
I don’t mean to disrespect your point but I just want to explain a little bit more why Margot’s host mother said that. I understand that rape is an issue all over the entire world. It just takes one creepy guy and one unguarded girl. But Uganda is not like America. And Margot’s mother warned her to protect her. As a woman, walking around here when it is dark is incredibly unsafe, mainly because there tends to be quite a lot of men just hanging around while all the other women have gone home. But unlike the United States, there is very little public security. There may be so many police hanging around outside of banks and other government stations, but one cannot call the police when there has been a crime. Even my own host mother talked about how if something is stolen from you, or your house is robbed, there is no one to turn too. Even recently one of the boda boda stages created their own justice system. It was discovered that one of the boda boda drivers was stealing from the other drivers. Rather than going to the police, all the other boda boda drivers beat him up and kicked him out of the stage. Without a strong public security structure, crime can happen a lot more often. Foreigners have also been told that we are higher targets. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty of precautions we can take, and most of the time Ugandans are incredibly polite. But do not take the rape comment as an example of Africa being uncivilized. Rather look at it as an example that Uganda is underdeveloped. So people have to carry themselves a different way.
Kate

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