Sorry about not posting last week. We had an intern weekend at Sipi Falls and didn’t come back until Monday. My project work has been fairly busy so I didn’t really have time to get something written up this past week.
As I mentioned we went to Sipi Falls last weekend. The day started off with a drive to Nakawa taxi park to find a mataatu that was taking a direct route to Kapchorwa. Otherwise we would have had to take a bus that was stopping in a small town and then try to find someone to drive us to the place we were staying.We were fortunate to find one of the few mataatus headed to Kapchorwa. The only problem was that two of the guys and I were going to have to sit in the front bench seat. This may sound like it should be no problem; however, it’s probably the worst seats on the bus. Most of the benches hold 3 people. Our bench held 4 because the conductor sat up there with us. The other problem is that there is no leg space because the motor sits right in front of you. My leg space did not extend beyond my knees and there wasn’t really any other place to put my legs to get my knees stretched out. So after 5 and a half hours of not moving my knees and having barely enough shoulder space we made it to our destination, Sipi River Lodge.
Sipi River Lodge is A1 in my book. It was pretty nice. We got 3 meals a day, had little huts to ourselves for only $50 a night, and we were right on the river between the middle and lower falls. This was quite a welcomed break from Kampala, especially since I’m not a city girl. We hiked up to the middle fall when we got there and came back for a rest from the mataatu ride. So after a relaxing evening and a great night’s sleep where the only noise you could hear was the faint rush of the middle waterfall we went hiking to the lower and upper falls. We started out with the lower falls in the morning. This was pretty great because we got to cut through some farms and saw some folks working or just hanging out. We also got to go through some caves which wasn’t my most favorite thing since I get a bit claustrophobic. The lower fall was very beautiful and extremely cold. It was also pretty wet down there due to the wind whirling around there.
The afternoon hike to the upper fall was by far my favorite. We went through a lot of farmland and through some villages or clusters of houses. It’s really pretty up there and the people were so nice. They actually just wanted to talk to you and weren’t trying to get money out of you like so many are in Kampala. It was such a great hike and just a great weekend overall. Oh, I forgot to mention that our guide took us out Sunday evening to see the sun set. It was awesome. Then it was back to the real world on Monday when we headed back to Kampala. The guy who drove us to Mbale to catch the bus to Kampala overcharged us a bit. He told us he was going to fight us if we didn’t give him the amount he wanted so instead of going to jail we met him half-way and then got on the bus which was better but still not fun. I had a guy sitting in the aisle for the most part sitting on my lap. So this (public transportation) and a dream I had last night about a washer and a dryer leads me to talk about the things that I take for granted back home.
Top of the middle fall
I’ll just make a list since I’m engineer. It’ll make things easier for me.
Things I take for granted back home:
- My car. Public transportation is about to kill me. I’m one of those people who only stops when the gas tank is getting low and I like to drive over 70 mph instead of 40 mph. It takes too long to get places.
- Washer and dryer. It’s the rainy season now and it takes a day or two for your clothes to dry out. Plus the washer and dryer don’t stretch your clothes.
- Televised sporting events. It’s baseball season right now and I can’t watch any games because espn3 doesn’t work here.
- Ceiling fans. I didn’t have one in Vicksburg either, but I might go ahead and consider that place a third world country. Haha.
- Food. I love sandwiches and Mexican and Cajun food. I wish there were Hispanics in Africa because their food is good and my Spanish is deteriorating. Deli meat is expensive and you never know when the power will go out and the meat spoil.
- Radio or new music. I never thought I would want the radio so bad. There is a country station oddly enough in Kampala so when we ride in a hired car that’s what we listen to.
- Set prices. People try to screw you here like the driver in Mbale.
- People not staring at you. We get stared at a lot. I’ve started asking people “What’s up?” or “Do you need something?” when I see them staring at me.
- Running. People try to run with you and have a conversation. Many want a muzungu friend.
In no way am I in a bad mood or ready to leave or whatever. I just wanted to make a list and see how long it got. There are many things that I like here. I love how time is not that important and that they take their time doing things here. I’ve adapted well to that. I love how beautiful it is outside of the city. I love how respectful the children are and how happy they are to go to school. I love how the people love their country and are willing to openly criticize their president. I love how they will let us serve them and how they will serve us while we are working for them. It’s really great here, better than most think. I hope you all have a great week and also a great Easter and remember what it is for us. If there was no resurrection then we’d be a hopeless bunch who should be pitied by all. By the way, next week I’ll be on safari so there won’t be a post until the Sunday after next. God bless!!!
Sunset on the Ugandan plains