Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What's in a name?

A person’s name. It’s their identity. A good name can define an individual and give strength and meaning to the mere utterance of that name. Names carry meaning and are often carried down a family line. Which makes me wonder what people are thinking when they give their kids names here. Not that it’s much different than in the states, I’ve heard some whoppers there too. Let me start with my new co-worker at Compassion. His name: Donnat. Prounounced: Donut! My best guess is that his parents heard the name Donald and tried their best to match it. Every time I say his name I chuckle inside to myself. “Hey Donut! Good morning, Donut! How are you Donut?” Another personal favorite is Gad. Jacob works for a guy named Gad. But it doesn’t sound like Gad it sounds like God when you say it. So he begins several of his stories with, “So, I was talking with God this morning and…” I just have to let it sit and marinate for a second before it sinks in what he’s really saying.

Here’s a list of a few of the names here: Savious (I think this one resembles Savior in some way), Dorcus (A common girls name here. Dorcus is a Biblical name, but in the Bible she’s also referred to as Agatha), Innocent (A guy or a girls name), Dr Alexander (This was a child’s name. Seriously.), Patience, Japheth (one of Noah’s sons in the Bible), Allen (A girls name when spelled with an “e”, a boy’s when with an “a” –Allan), Barnabas, Bright, Constance, Eva (their version of Eve), Fortunate, Happy, Immaculate, Batista (If a guy’s name is John then he’s often referred to as Batista… meaning Baptist), Praise, Kedress, Talent, Jadress, Scovia, Lovence, Federesi, Yosuf, Zilla (What is this? Short for Godzilla?).

Queen Elizabeth

I took another trip to Queen Elizabeth National Park this weekend. My third time there. It’s a neat game drive and I got some great pictures. I saw elephants, lions, cape buffalo, bush buck, warthogs, hippos and mongooses. I think my favorite animal to see there is the elephant. They’re so big and fascinating to watch. An entire family will slowly walk towards your vehicle and just meander and graze while you watch. They have a certain elegance to them yet they are still massive, wild creatures. While we were there we saw a very small mud hole where 2 hippos were. We got out of the car to take pictures. We were being kind of noisy as we peered down as these massive beasts sunk deep into their mud bath. As I expected (and somewhat feared) the hippos didn’t appreciate the interruption of their morning and quickly jumped up out of their little paradise and onto the bank which sent our little entourage scurrying back towards our cars. Hippos kill more people annually than lions do in Africa and I warned my group before anything happened. Fortunately the hippo was satisfied with giving us just a mean stare down. I don’t think you would be too happy either if you had to drag 600lbs of yourself out of your bath because people were being loud and taking pictures of you!

We really had a nice time. We stopped at the Mweya Lodge which is arguably one of the best hotels in Uganda and had some great food there. As we sat and ate on the patio we could look down and see elephants and buffalo who had gathered at the shore of the lake. We also watched as 2 fish eagles (which closely resemble bald eagles) soared overhead looking for their lunch. Toward the end of our meal a warthog came rooting around looking for his meal. Thankfully he kept moving past us in his search for foliage.


At 17 July, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gad is also in the 12 tribes of Jacob's sons in the Bible.

At 18 July, 2007, Blogger NanettePC said...

I want to visit this park when I come. I agree elephants are the most awesome animals. They are breathtaking to watch in the wild.
Mongooses? Mongeese? tooooo funny.

At 23 July, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...


This is Keith Welch and not sure if you remember me. I am Marc Harris's stepdad and Anna is his mother. I coached Andy in Babe Ruth baseball. I enjoyed the article in the Rushville Republican that you wrote and just wanted to ask if there was anything you needed that Anna and I would be able to send. Keep up the great work you are doing and just let us know what we can do.



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