Saturday, February 28, 2009


After a welcome sleep in we made our way to Kampala, Uganda's bustling capital.

Like Rome, Kampala is nestled between 7 hills and is the thriving commercial heart beat of Uganda.

On our way into the City, the traffic increased and for much of the journey it was stop/start/stop/start. The only interesting things we saw were the people out the window. Hawkers were walking through the traffic selling a range on unusal wares which included electric squash rackets used presumably to zap mosquitoes, rain coats (in Africa??), jumper leads, blow up raindeers, coffee tables and colourful baseball caps.

The City seems a hub of activity, people walk confidently and with purpose as if they are on a mission to somewhere.

The hills are dotted with some medium rise buildings, mostly square comprised of a mix of pastel and glass in a style reminisent of the wonderful late 1980's.

Billboards promoting Ugandan goods, banks, phone companies and fast food outlets line the roads.

The traffic is brutal, nmotorcyles seem to be in the majority here and are used as the local taxi, mini vans also dominate and they are usually white in coloure with blue piping stripes. The windshields are often embossed with a slogans like 'god is great' or 'all praise the lord' and sometimes there are colourful painted slogans on the side of the road in bright painted letters you might see 'Power belongs to the people' prayed across a government building.

There is a faint burning smell in the air- probably a mix of charcol and timber.

As for my bus mates-it is clear that allegences are being formed- friendships are devloping and i have to admit there have been times where i have felt a little left out.

.... But solitude is a wonderful thing. My problems, noteably my own personal insecurities (am i funny enough?, kind enough? patient enouhg?, helpful enough?) are amplyied here... it is almost as though a trip to Africa provides you with a mirror to view yourself.

I have also noted as the days have passed that because i am a bona fide book worm, somwhere in my life i have turned into a know it all.... it is a quality that i sometimes deplore in myself... i am trying to keep quiet more than i would at home or with friends beacuse no one likes someone who has read a book about everything!

In the afternoon at our campsite, i did a spot of hand washing and settled into the pool.

Whilst there I met 2 Pakastani UN Peace Keepers who were on leave from working in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They prooved facinating and interesting pool companions. After plesentries were exchanged and we had spoken about the one thing that can unify 2 Pakistani troops and an Australian girl in depth... CRICKET, we begun a discussion about their service... i had read bits and pieces (there I go again) on the conflict but was keen to get a first hand impression of the situation.

Both men spoke humbily about their jobs and spoke openly about the reasons that they thought they were there.... i wont go into too many details except to say that the DRC is the 5th richest country in the world in terms of natural resources but it still one of the poorest nations of earth... that thought makes me want to vomit.

I could say any number of things i have read on the topic but instead i will close with this... such corruption, nepotism, oppression and brutality is EVIL.... full stop.


Anonymous said...

If i were there you would be in, in ,in....Africa is bound to be transformational....we all love you and miss you and wish we were therexxxxx

Joannie said...

what more can I say .... XX