Blogs from Kampala, Central Region, Uganda, Africa

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Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Kampala July 7th 2019

Agandi! Where to start? So much has happened in so little time. We have finished our community placement and now we are off to Kampala for a couple days to make some "site visits". We're not entirely sure what that entails, but we are trusting that our supervisors will make it a meaningful and memorable time. :) Yesterday we returned to Mbarara to spend the night before continuing the journey to the capital. Saying good-bye to the Rugazi community was difficult to say the least. for once we actually left on (Canadian) time, which was unexpected and made the hugs and teary good byes feel all the more abrupt. Even in spite of language/cultural differences and the short amount of time we spent in Rugazi, the people and the circumstances they face have affected us deeply ... read more
Afripads for All!
Pad-making Partay
Our Parting Gift

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Kampala December 14th 2018

The never ending dilemma, “What is my responsibility?” and "Can anything explain why I have the opportunities I do besides random chance?" I am excited to leave Uganda, to go back to normal toilets, access to clean drinking water from the tap, convenience of firm departure times. But how do I forget the power of the American dollar (average rent $40 - $100; monthly income $250, a semester at college $1300), malaria and typhoid, most don’t have access to indoor plumbing or electricity? The things occupying the mind here are things that never crossed my mind: getting water, how to study without electricity, missing a week of school each month because I don’t have menstral pads. While I am not wealthy in the states, I am actually rich compared to the global population. Why? Because I ... read more

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Kampala December 13th 2018

We are heading back to Kampala today to spend one more day with Norah and decreasing the chance of missing our flight by trying to do all the travel in one Day. The one thing I didn’t write about was having dinner with Chan, Florence and Nestar. It was wonderful to see Florence and Nestar. Florence is the same animated, kindhearted and realistic person she was 5 years ago and Nestar is growing like a string bean into an intelligent young woman who told me people call her crazy because she smiles so much. Florence is currently working with a Spanish volunteer organization, but only has volunteers May through August. The remainder of the year she is at home and manages her small matoke farm. Nestar is on break and spending it in the village with ... read more

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Kampala December 3rd 2018

We arrived at the Entebbe airport and the change was drastic. The walls were postered were tourist attractions. It only took 45 minutes for a visa instead of 2 hours. Armed security guards were only by the doors separating those in from those outside. As we taxied to Kampala, our driver explained the majority of the expanded highway from Entebbe to Kampala was now complete (the project started 5 years ago). However, as we neared the city, it was evident much remained the same: women bent over sweeping the highway with stick brooms; workers chopping grass on the wayside with machetes; Bodas and cars making 3rd and 4th lanes of traffic appear out of no where; people living and selling out of shacks, the smog and presence of an elephant on my chest while trying to ... read more

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Kampala January 16th 2018

We had a very pleasant evening sitting around the pool and sipping cold beers after our day with the gorillas. Cepha's Inn was a very nice spot and Monica and I would probably have upgraded from our tent to a room, however, we were only staying one night. I had showered (cold but not freezing) after the gorilla trek and had folded my sweaty clothes into a bag to be dealt with later. We left early the next morning heading towards Kampala. It was a 400km. drive on so-so roads to Kampala and we had another hour driving through the city core and out the other side to our new camp site. Earlier on the safari, we had driven west through Tanzania towards Rwanda and cut under Lake Victoria on the south side. Now in Uganda, ... read more
cold beer above the Nile
looking north on the Nile
our crow's nest retreat

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Kampala November 16th 2017

I've always wanted to go white water rafting, but have never done it. Since rafting down the Nile is a top attraction in Uganda, I decided to finally do it. What makes it so convenient is that the rafting companies will pick you up in Kampala at no extra charge, take you to Jinja -- two hours away, then return you to your lodge at the end of the day. You can raft 365 days a year, and even do it while it is raining. Our guide said they'll cut trips short during electrical storms, but that's the only time a condition will affect a trip. One of the things you read about over and over again on the rafting companies in Jinja is their dedication to safety. Safety is as much a priority to them ... read more
Nile River
Nile River
Nile River

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Kampala November 15th 2017

Went on a city tour via boda boda (motorcycles). Boda boda is Ugandan slang for border-border. As explained to me, a lot of smuggling takes place at the borders via motorcycle. Border-to-border somehow was bastardized to boda boda. Most taxis in Uganda are actually motorcycles, so the term now also refers to moving people, like merchandise, from place to place via motorcycle, hence the phrase. There isn't a lot to see in Kampala, with the highlights being Idi Amin's torture chambers, the mosque financed by former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi -- dictator is a theme associated with many of the sites visited. I was rather impressed with the tour agency, as it provided us with helmets, each of us had our own driver, a guide -- in addition to the drivers -- was included, and they ... read more
Kampala
Kampala
Kampala

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Kampala November 14th 2017

Didn't do much today, just crashed. To get from destination to destination, it involved a drive of at least six hours, and most of it not on tarred roads, so the drives were very bumpy. (Everyone refers to it as an "African massage".) Also, a lot of the activities I've done since arriving have required a lot of physical activity. My mind tells me I can do it, but my body continuously reminds me that it's not going to be so easy. Besides sleep, my only other goal was to get laundry done, as finding a place to do it during the rainy season is very difficult. Laundry is done by hand at most lodges, then hung out to dry. If they think it will rain, they won't do it. If your laundry is hanging, and ... read more

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Kampala November 13th 2017

Yet another early start, and a long drive to my next destination. As I was having breakfast, it was fun to watch all the people who had arrived the night before and were excited to be leaving for their safari trip very shortly. On my way back to Kampala, the capital, we stopped off at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to go rhino trekking. The guide and his assistant did not carry guns, but they allowed my driver to join us. The place is heavily guarded to prevent poaching. The trek resulted in seeing several mothers, all with babies of varying sizes. It's always a relief to see the horns still on the rhinos. Our timing at the sanctuary couldn't have been more perfect. No one was there when we arrived, but we saw quite a few ... read more
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Kampala November 3rd 2017

Since I hadn't finalized my travel plans before leaving San Francisco, used today to work on them, as well as try to adapt to the change in time zone.... read more




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