Uganda Project Day 32 – 14th July 2007 – A Day in Kampala

 

Waking up comfortably on the top bunk, it suddenly hit me that today is my last full day in Uganda. Sob, sob, sob! I mused the last month and I just couldn’t believe all the things I did. Whitewater rafting, refurbishing a school, Safari drives, and experiencing Ugandan life! I just couldn’t stop thinking about it and I was even dreaming about it on the bus drive down from Murchison Falls to Kampala where I am now.

But here I am in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, and here was a last opportunity to experience Ugandan life before we leave to go back to Britain. So after scarfing down some breakfast, we jumped on a shared minivan to the Garden Centre of Kampala. I say shared because the taxi minivan driver has to drive around for a bit until the van is burst to the seams of passengers so we had many locals sitting on our laps! Once, it was full, we were thus transported to the Garden Centre. Drawing out some money, the sole purpose why we went to the Garden centre, we walked into the centre of Kampala but first getting lost. But luckily, the friendly locals around was on hand to point us the way. On our way, we were soon interrupted by torrential rain! We had to take refuge in a coffee shop while we watch disbelievingly the  road turn into a river. I asked if this was the norm, only to greeted with a non-committal shrug. This must happen all the time…

By the time we got to the Centre, we were soon greeted with the massive hub-bub of activity of the food and spice markets…and of course a knick knack market where they sold anything. I swear I saw a jar of fingernails…. anyway, we wanted to get deeper into the spice market, but we weren’t sure about it as 5 guys appeared out of nowhere and offered to take us in. It took ages for them to get the hint that we didn’t want them and we started marching off only for another guy to appear out of nowhere and offer to show us around the city. It may have been friendly but there was something in his eyes that I didn’t trust. I always go with the mantra that if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it! Luckily, we managed to shake him off after splitting into 2 groups and he couldn’t decide who to go with.

Meanwhile, we reached the craft market where we met up with the others. We went on a spending spree!!!! But soon, I realised I had no money and had to jog down the road to draw out some more.

However, as I left the bank, one man approached me and begged me for some money. After repeated attempts of saying no, he started shouting that I robbed him! 2 security guards from the bank rushed over and demanded to know where I got my money. I really felt out of my element and protested even showing them the receipt. By then, the man started sliding away and I pointed at him. The cash teller rushed outside that he did indeed serve me and that the man was a con artist. He started running and one of the security guards chased after him while the other still held his vice like grip on me. I started shaking him off telling him to let go and that I was innocent and threatened to call the British embassy. He paled and soon let me go. It was quite an experience and I don’t know what could have happened. But I had to walk calmly back to the craft market rather than running away looking like I was indeed in the act. Oh my days.

However, we soon got back to the hostel and it was time to say goodbye to some people as they were continuing their African adventure through Kenya and Tanzania. Indeed I was so jealous but commitments in the UK meant that I had to return. But before they left, we did a group shot. Here’s the group 1b that I worked with.

KampalaSo big up to the guys in my group starting above left – Steve, Kat, Jami, Phil, Ames, Caroline, Burtie, Jaime, Dan, Rachel, Helen J, Orla, Me, Helen K, Sam and Katie. I really enjoyed working and hanging out with them and it was a sad day for us to break up.

After, we got all the groups together for one big shot.

KampalaTruly an end of an era!

After dinner and a shower, it was time for bed. Last day tomorrow…

 

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