Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Uganda Travels

Hi all,

I never really talk about things I do when I'm not busy running around the place volunteering so from now on I shall try to remember to tell you about my travels and weekends etc.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I was heading off for a short break to Jinja. 
This is how it started -

We decided to leave at 8am however due to everyone being very much adjusted to "Arfican Time" we left at 8:30am. (African time is basically where time is non-existent. If you are going to meet someone at 10am you yourself may turn up at 10:20am then the other person will turn up sometime later. When we first arrived in Uganda we were always prompt but eventually we caught on to the way of life here!) 

We all squeezed into a salon taxi car passing our village to Kyenjojo Town where we swapped to a Matatu (the white and blue taxis) to Kampala. For once this matatu had about a half inch extra leg room than normal so the 5 hour journey was positively pleasant and there were no screaming babies. However what was rather unfortunate was this poor chicken...  This alive chicken had had its legs tied together and was hanging down the outside of my window. Speed limits are also non-existent so here I was, sitting for hours staring at this upside-down chicken blowing around in the wind, sometimes it had its eyes open looking terrified and other times I thought it had died as it closed its eyes. It did survive the journey but the next thing for it was probably a Boda ride through Kampala. 

How a chicken travels in Uganda!
We heard about this new shopping mall - Accacia Mall in Kampala with confirmation of an actual KFC! We arrived and the advertising of the KFC man was plastered across the window. I don't think I have ever seen us all smile so wide! In we went and it was a legit KFC with the big poster menus and a shopping till that the money goes in. (Haven't seen those in a long time!) We were all acting like little children excited about what to pick. It felt like we were in England. Nothing Ugandan looking about KFC. I  ordered two bits of chicken, large fries, Coca-Cola and an icecream that had a chocolate flake in it!!! The fries were just heaven! I know this probably all sounds over the top about how excited we were but this kind of food has not been accessible to us all year. Even just getting the food in the little boxes was fun! We then went to explore the mall which was an experience in itself. It was all so shiney! There was a water fountain and GLASS LIFTS! We didn't need to use one but by this point we were all a bit over excited. The other girls went "ooohhhhhhhhh" as we went down a floor in the lift. It is experiences like this when I wonder with slight terror how we will cope back in the UK when we are faced with such novelties as shopping malls, escalators, then the day to day things like an oven, a fridge, a TV, hot water and constant electricity. Even carpet...
KFC - Yummy!!
So after that excitement we went to the Jinja Taxi Stage in Kampala where the drivers started beating each other up and blocking our way into the taxi as they argued who's taxi we would go in... This happens a lot. It gets rather dull. 
New Taxi Park in Kampala
We arrived in Jinja and got to Nile River Camp which is without a doubt my favourite place to stay in Uganda. 

We settled into our room and spent the evening relaxing on the comfy sofas and watching the sunset over the River Nile. I had a delicious plate of nachos too. In total it took us 7 hours to travel to Jinja. 
A beautiful sunset over the River Nile
 We stayed at the Nile River Camp for four night so that meant three whole days there. We went swimming, read a few books etc. It was nice to just relax. On one of the evenings we went out to get a pizza, others went to get a curry then we met up at this chilled out bar called Flavours where there was a live band playing outside. The music was really good, very jazzy and fun plus it was a nice warm night so we stayed out until the band stopped. I also bumped into someone I spent New Years Eve with in Jinja so it was nice to catch up. It's always nice seeing a familiar face in Uganda! It was a really fun, relaxed night. 

Time went very fast in Jinja but other Project Trust volunteers kept arriving and some of them I have not seen since December. So it was cool seeing them all. On the last night we went to this amazing restaurant called The Black Lantern where I went full out and ate three courses. (and now have a much smaller bank account...) But it was so worth it! I ate baked breaded mozzarella, T-Bone steak with potato wedges and vegetables then a honey cake. I wish I ate like this more often!

The journey back consisted of my friend Jess singing loudly to Justin Beiber on the radio, not just one chicken but a whole roof of chickens on the taxi, a quick stop in Kampala for a delicious chicken pie and cookie then the smallest taxi I have ever had to fit my legs in back to my project. 

Back to rice and veg haha! So that was my trip to Jinja. I think I should stop being so focused about the food but I get carried away... 

I may possibly be going down to Kabale near the end of the holiday to visit Lake Bunyoni and the volunteers down there. I am yet to decide (and I need to count up my Shillings!)

That is all for now. 
Speak soon!

Bella xxx

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