My Time in Uganda
From what I was able to see, Uganda is a beautiful country – it may only have been as green as it was because it was the wet season – my brother said it was much drier last time he went. I found the whole place and the people to be very photogenic. The plains are incredible, especially looking out from the few and far between high places (like Sipi falls).
The thunderstorms during the wet season are incredible and I found myself in several torrential downpours with sheet lighting and very close thunder. The sunsets are also beautiful (admittedly I only managed to see one, as it was cloudy most of the time) and are at about the same time every night all year round.
A lot of the locals seemed pretty friendly, although we were in a small town as oppose to a large city; but some people would try and charge much higher rates for goods and services (makes sense why though). The people in the town and villages would stare intensely at us (literally the only white people) in the street, but I would usually get a smile back if I smiled, or waved. The children are very sweet and will usually wave and shout, “Mzungu, how are you, I am fine” at you as you go by; some would ask for things, but most were just inquisitive. We were asked for things quite a lot (from money, to glasses, to footballs, to laptops), and I found this quite difficult especially as they were things that can so easily be taken for granted.
I went being told to expect, “People who are poor, but despite their lack, are very happy.” However, I tried not to paint what I saw with this rhetoric. What I saw though, were ordinary people (some with much less than others), like anywhere else, just trying to get on with their lives, some seemed happy, some didn’t.
A lot of people asked us if we were married as soon as they met us. This was almost as common as someone from Europe may expect to be asked something like: “What do you do”. Several people asked if they could come back with me to my country; this didn’t come across as, “Please get me out of here”, but more like a natural inquisitiveness, like a lot of people have about unknown places.
- A lot of the villages seemed to have music playing loudly out of a large speaker. This came across to me as much more community based and didn’t result in people complaining and wanting their own music playing instead.
- Public transport is very cramped, London rush hour, but in a car or van. I was one of seven in a five seater car at one point. One guy was practically sitting on the handbrake!
- Don’t go to Uganda if you are sensitive towards animal rights, you will frequently see pigs and goats strapped to the backs of pushbikes and the occasional 50 chickens tied to the top of a van.
- Health and what?
- It is quite normal to see men platonically walking round holding hands.
- Kevin is a woman’s name, Emma is a man’s name.
- See How to guide: Uganda.