We arrived in Uganda a month ago and for some reason the past month has flown past much faster than the previous months….Is it that we are now fully into the swing of travelling or what would be the reason for time suddenly rushing by so fast…… ???? Who knows, but we are grateful that with the normal feeling of “timing rushing by” there is no associated stress or panic in our lives.
These are the first things that pop to mind when I look back over the past month in Uganda:
GREEN – wow this place is effervescent green.
BANANAS, bananas and more bananas – on motorbikes, on the side of the road, tied to bicycles, it seems everyone down south is hauling massive full branches of bananas.
RED SAND ROADS - and the contrasting green trees and radiant blue skies.
Vast open savannas.
Thundering Murchison falls.
Dome shaped mountains in remote north eastern Uganda
Poverty stricken yet ever smiling content people
People carrying massive loads, with the weight of their loads held by fabric around their foreheads.
Yellow 20l water drums – everyone has them. (These also attached to their foreheads!)
A whole family of 4 or even 5 on a motorbike is quite normal
Child travel safety is not a thing – babies carried in arms or tied to a back is very normal to see on a motorbike!
Massive endless skies with impressive cloud formations.
Breath taking storms – thunder which rumbles, the loud roaring rainfall which you can heard from kms away, the massive winds which come before a storm, sudden and fierce.
Welcoming happy people. People who seem to have forgiven their awful history and moved on.
People can’t stop staring at our trailer!
“Mazungu Mazungu” shouted everywhere!
AK47s and armed guards are normal – it is quite nerve wracking at first but like all things one gets used to it.
The Chinese sadly are cutting roads through and desecrating the most beautiful nature forests. It is devastating. Maybe necessary, but sacrilege seeing beautiful century old trees being felled. Game parks getting “highways” through them. Awful.
So many children. Children carrying children, babies sitting in fields while their parents’ work. Babies, babies and more babies.
Rolling hills of bright green tea plantations.
Huge teak forests.
Welcoming friendly expats who have helped us in so many different ways – from staying in a lodge on Lake Albert, to a picnic lunch on the Kidepo river bed, to information on various things, to invites to come and stay in homes of our followers who haven’t even met us (how amazing is this!), to information on who can make us rusks (YAY YAY YAY), to sourcing us specific plugs for our solar panels, to Nile Perch fishing trips, to heaps of information of places to visit, to people opening their homes and families to welcome us in….. once again, the magnitude of kindness of strangers has been overwhelming and we are so appreciative of these amazing people who have walked into our families lives! Thank you x
It has been great to seeing a few more tourists than over the past few months and forming friendships. Something we have missed and were grateful for in Uganda.
Things that have been testing in Uganda:
1. Toilets. Are. A. Luxury.
If it is clean and doesn’t stink, first positive.
If you can sit and not squat over a hole, good.
If it flushes…… you are royalty sitting on the throne!
2. Hot shower – not sure why, but hot showers (and sometimes even a shower) seem to be a serious luxury here in Uganda. The yearnings have been real!
3. Social media bans – Uganda has bans on social media and one has to jump through many hoops to get facebook / Instagram and even whatsapp. In the beginning this was very frustrating. Amazing though that acceptance becomes a way of life when on the road.
4. Rain – we have seriously hit the rainy season.
5. Shopping for food has been tricky. Gone are the days of entering 1 shop to do your shopping…. Oh no way….. veggies on the side of the road, groceries, if you are lucky to find a supermarket, but usually you come away with many items not being found, meat/cheese etc are very hard to find…. But airtime….. airtime you can buy in the deepest most remote places!
Things that I have learnt:
I am now OK with wet tents – As per previous posts from Zambia, putting away a wet tent was eventually leaving me in tears. I dreaded this aspect of camping. BUT something has shifted within me and now I just get on with it and all emotion is forgotten. I don’t stress about the kids roof top mattress being soaking wet, I can’t stress about damp sheets, blankets and stuff which needs to find a place in the car/trailer, or myself getting soaked putting away the tent (and usually muddy too!)….. I no longer lie in bed with angst in my tummy hearing the raining dripping on the roof. Somehow, I have just gotten past this and now just do what needs to be done. For me this is a BIG deal! And thank goodness, as we have had to put away a wet tent plenty of times in Uganda!
But the above has also reiterated to me that I still LOVE hot and dry weather.
Dirty clothes – no longer do I fuss about us wearing the same clothes for days and days on end (FYI underwear changed every day!!!!). My kids are filthy “street kids” most of the time……… oh gosh maybe I am too?!?!
My culinary skills have been seriously tested with the limited variety of food available here in Uganda… but actually when push comes to shove you need very little to make a tasty meal.
It has been a good month in Uganda. As per my previous blog the initial 10 days or so were not ideal when we were all in a “funk” (Slump), but thankfully the sun is once more shining in our souls and we are counting our blessings and loving each day and what it brings. x
See Part 2 coming soon for a full breakdown of where we visited in Uganda.