Friday, June 14, 2013

Out and About: Big Town, Small Village

Weekend Fun and Exploration

Work has been amazing, but the days have been long in front of the computer from at least 8 am to 8 pm. After 4 arduous days, I was ready to break out of ARU Campus for my one weekend here.


I wanted to head into town (the capital, Kampala) solo to explore, but that idea was quickly squashed. Jeff, who invited me to ARU, said that he’d definitely get in trouble. Bummer. So clearly finagling my way to Bethany Village via boat to see if my friend's school was still standing was out of the question. So, I settled for tagging along with Joseline and Ruth to pick up visitors from the airport and run errands in town in our private van.

Running errands in Kampala

Traffic Jam
Kampala was a typical crazy city with lots of boda-bodas (motorbikes), cars, people and dust. Not much to see, but definitely a place to experience.


We decided to stay local in Buloba Village on Sunday.
Shops by the main drag of Buloba

Maria on the Road
Our leisure 10 minute walk to the local church

Maria helps take care of guests at ARU. She has actually traveled the world with the Children's Christian Choir. Her story is pretty amazing. She probably didn’t know I snapped this photo of her. She hates pictures.

Buloba Community Church.
Not pictured: two chickens that frequented the stage.
Note: man on the left was the keyboardist, sound person and also the preacher. Way to multi-task.
Service was at least 3 hours. It was unclear when the first service ended and the second began. There was a lot of gospel singing with “AMEN!” and high energy. Also, about 50 kids were quietly sitting there for over an hour! Imagine seeing that in the states. The message was on not having favorites and still accepting the second-option as God-given. This idea is relevant in African culture in terms of having favored children. It turns out that a lot of Chinese family values seem to cross with African ones. I always enjoy experiencing church in different countries.

In the afternoon, Joseline took us to the new man-made pond for some relaxation.

Ruth and me enjoying Mirinda soda
Ruth is a Child Development Major and also works in Student Services at ARU

The weekend crew: Ruth, Joseline, Kate, Beth and Me
Kate and Beth came to Uganda for the 3rd time to check out possible places to teach long-term. Sadly, they only stayed with us for the weekend. It was a fun weekend, but we’re back to the grind of work. Only 4 more days left! So much to accomplish still.

Kampala Madness: Take #2

Afterthought to the weekend: On my last afternoon in Uganda, Joseline took me along with her to run errands in town as she is prepping for her wedding in two weeks. We also hit up some craft shops. Can’t go home empty handed.

Unlike the last Kampala trip, this one was keeping it real.
Taxis in Uganda
They are basically mini-busses that go when full and constantly stop to let people on and off. You never know how many people are going to squeeze in next to you and the state of their hygiene. 

To reach our destination, we walked 10 minutes, took a taxi to town center, walked 10 minutes through hoards of people, hopped on another taxi then negotiated a ride on a boda-boda (motor bike). Joseline asked me if I wanted to sit like a woman or man on the boda-boda. I went for man. We reached our destination after 2 hours. Whew!

Battling the streets of Kampala on Friday afternoon.
Joseline was impressed by my ability to power through the crowds. I mean business.
 This second round to Kampala was much more to my liking as it was the real deal. Joseline and I battled the city as locals. Apparently everyone kept asking her to give me up, but she refused, and I pressed on. This city is pretty intense. I’m glad ARU is set in the more peaceful countryside.

1 comment:

sharock said...

amazing and totally different that nyc summer. the suns finally out.