The internet is abuzz with listicles meant to make everyday life a little easier. And boy do we need it. Today’s world is one seriously complicated place. I mean, this showed up on my Facebook feed today:
Here in Uganda, we’ve always been good at efficiently using local resources and resisting the tide of consumerism. I’ve written about it here as regards sustainability, and here in reference to appropriate technology.
Today I’ve got a whole new collection of Ugandan life techniques that are totally sustainable, appropriate, and make everyone’s lives easier and more fun. Here are my 8 Ugandan life hacks. Enjoy!
1. The neighbourhood fruit and veg lady ensures we have fresh produce just steps from our door:
Who needs a fridge? I’d rather have that smile.
2. The ol’ blade wedged in the branch helps us harvest our banana leaves:
Ugandans steam fresh, organic produce in banana leaves to give it a depth of taste you won’t find anywhere else. Not a life hack, but a way of life.
3. Household DIY:
Why buy liquid soap, when you can listen to a radio program, attend a training, and make 20 litres of it in an afternoon. Collect a few empty mineral water bottles, fill them – and you’ve got stock for retail trade. Instant business.
4. Reusing empty sacs to make baskets:
Baskets like this (and those on the header photo) are used as decoration, to present bride-price, to hold household items, and even as serving dishes for our guests.
5. The plate stand to keep dishes clean and dry:
6. Pay as you go airtime and electricity:
Ugandans buy scratch cards to load minutes onto phones and electrical meters. We only buy what we need. Because of the diversity in our marketplace, consumers can literally buy 10 cents or $100 worth of phone or electrical credit at a time.
7. The baby on the back:
Attachment parenting without the consumerism.
8. The hand made toy:
Old coat hangers, some bungee cord, 2 pencils, and a stick. And a heap of Ugandan innovation and motivation! (Local hand made toys deserve a blog post of their own, don’t they?)
There you have it. 8 ways regular Ugandans hack their lives. Could any of these tips make your life just a little sweeter? Ugandans, got anything to add?
Want to learn more about real life in Uganda? Think about volunteering with The Real Uganda. Our volunteers live and work with regular people and learn new ways to approach life. We want volunteers interested in giving their time and stepping out of their ordinary routine.