David’s Easy 5-step Guide to Re-entering the US from Rural Africa

I realise not many people will find themselves in this exact situation, but if you happen to be in a remote corner of East Africa, and have only two weeks until you return to the US (or some other wealthy, industrialised country), follow these steps to insure the smoothest possible transition:

1. Alale, Pokot, Kenya

This is the bush, in the truest sense: There is no running water or electricity. Houses are made of mud and sticks. Availability is limited to what you can pluck, kill or milk. The custodians of social order are the tribal elders.

Herdsboys in Pokot

2. Kapenguria, Kenya

This is a town — a frontier town, perhaps. Still no running water, but our friend had a generator that he ran two of the nights we were there. Houses are constructed of corrugated tin. Availability of goods is still quite limited.

Our hosts chasing down a chicken for dinner

3. Kampala, Uganda

The capital city of Uganda — there is running water, and an electrical grid, although power often goes out. Houses are constructed of a variety of materials —  concrete, mud bricks, corrugated tin, etc. There are banks, supermarkets, and Indian restaurants. It’s hard to detect order amongst all the chaos.

A quiet street in Kampala

4. Johannesburg, South Africa

A cosmopolitan city worthy of the World Cup. There are trendy sidewalk cafes, streetlights (or as my ebullient South African host would say, “robots”) and a proper “downtown”. It’s safe to drink the tapwater.

Lunch in Joburg

5. USA

Insert your own descriptions…

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