East Africa Day 19 – Uganda (Jinja)

A stormy and very interesting day.  I slept until 12:30.  A huge storm engulfed Lake Victoria, and it was impressive to watch it, the dark clouds rolling in, the fishermen struggling in their boats, the fork lightening, which I tried to take pictures of but was always either too early or to late.  I sat watching the rain, waiting for it to subside.  I decided I wouldn’t let the day waste away.  I was going to check out the famous Bujugali Falls, a wide-spread series of large rapids and deemed one of Uganda’s outstanding natural beauty spots.

I hopped on a boda-boda, and told the driver to drop me off at a special hire, as it was still raining.  When we got to the falls, however, the rain had stopped.  I’d struck it lucky with the timing – hordes of smiling, friendly schoolkids from various schools were on an outing.  They seemed so happy, well-behaved and respectful.  Some of them were dancing along to some rnb music blasting out of speakers near their picnic spot.  Many crowded around me, talking to me, genuinely interested and fascinated.  A group of around fifty gathered around me, with more joining, most of them (including the girls) with shaved heads, but some sporting cool dreadlocks, and when I spoke there was complete silence.  I got my camera out, and they all jostled to get in the picture.  I really enjoyed my walk, chatting to the kids, seeing the raw power of the falls – small in stature, but big in power.  After seeing the falls, I watched 2 fishermen casting their nets out in a calmer area of the river, then I went to DeNile café for a drink.  My trainers were caked in wet mud, so I allowed some village kids to clean them for a dollar, which they shared between seven of them.  They did a good job.  I admired their business sense.  I had a pot of tea and some Aztec biscuits on the balcony of the café watching the river and falls, and then strolled through the little village to find a place to buy a top-up voucher for my phone.  On the side of one of the wooden kiosks I saw a sign in large, bold lettering:  ‘No HIV.  Avoid morning sex, Africa.’  I wasn’t aware you could only get HIV from morning sex…at least some kind of message is getting through in parts of Africa! I called my special hire ‘taxi’ driver to come and pick me up.  A great afternoon.

Later, I went out for a couple of drinks.  For dinner, I went to LingLing restaurant – nice place, but dead and with no atmosphere.  I felt a little pissed off.  Then Akon’s song ‘Lonely’ came on, and I laughed.  It’s the third time I’ve heard the song when I’ve been just that.  How fitting.  The first in Kota Kinabalu in Borneo, the next in Jakarta, Indonesia, and now Jinja, Uganda!  After this I got a bus to town and went to Why Not café for a drink, then onto Spot 6, then Triangle.  Tired.  What a great day.

Author: Neil

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