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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

"Wooter" is my best friend

By: Andrew N.

Kampala, Uganda

Yes, of course my "Philadelphian accent" has been the butt of many jokes thus far on our journey to Uganda.  I always stood strong with how I pronounced water while living in California, but if anything may break my habit, it will be living in Uganda.  To avoid a back and forth conversation lasting five minutes, I have turned into Audrey Hepburn from My Fair Lady anytime we are out to eat and ask "My I have a WATER please," in lieu of my normal "wooter" to which even many of my California friends normally inquire as to what I mean.

Aside from learning how to speak correctly, I have also learned in Uganda that water is a man's best friend.  Growing up in Philadelphia, I am no stranger to humidity and heat in general.  It was beautiful change moving to Los Angeles where 90 degrees with 0% humidity was very welcome.  Yet, Ugandan weather has had me travel from 0% humidity to very high humidity on most days.  By my third day staying in the country, I was clearly already very dehydrated and pretty sick.  After resting up and drinking about 2 gallons of water, my system seemed to level out, but now living in such a hot climate, I have definitely learned that "wooter" is my best friend.

Uganda has been amazing thus far and I don't expect my opinion to change.  The people are extremely welcoming, the boda-bodas add a thrill to any normal activity (getting to work, food shopping, going to dinner, etc), and the food has been incredible.  This is all pushed to the back burner behind the best part, which is working with the anti-corruption court.  My colleague, Tim O'Hair, and I have been assigned a task that can be phenomenal in nature.  In past years, the Pepperdine students who have traveled to Uganda, started a process, which began instituting a plea bargaining system in the courts which at that time was non-existent.  A few courts have adopted their own forms of this system.  Tim and I have been asked to research and plan out a system, which may be suitable for the anti-corruption court here in Uganda.  Just to have the opportunity to work on a project like this and to have a chance to influence something so huge is breathtaking.

I expect to have many stories from our journey and cannot wait to share them all through the use of this blog.  Hoping soon to also post pictures onto our Flickr account and some video footage onto our Youtube account so please be on the lookout for that.  Take care.