My experience in Uganda so far can be summed up in one word…chaos.
It all starts with the bus ride from Kigali to Kampala. It was a 9 hour bus ride. They drive on the left side of the road in Uganda so I was thrown off from the start. There were a few moments when I was pretty sure the bus was going to hit someone or something.
Then there is Kampala. I had no idea it was such a big and crazy city! It was like a mix between San Francisco and Tijuana. Very busy and very dirty. I was fascinated. We went shopping all around town and saw markets and shopping centers that were the size of a small country. We went to this one market that is similar to most of the markets here, with tons of fruits, vegetables, dry goods, shoes, secondhand clothes and a ton of useless junk. But walking around this market was like walking around the maze in the Triwizard cup. Did I mention that it was right next to a parking lot full of matatus (taxi buses) about the size of one of those gigantic Disneyland parking lots. Don’t even ask me how they are supposed to get out. I almost lost my left hip to one of those suckers.
Last, but definitely not least, there was the “River Nile.” We took a guided rafting trip down a portion of the Nile. This was probably one of the craziest things I have ever done in my life. I thought, being from Oregon and rafting the Rogue my whole life, that I was prepared for this rafting excursion. Well, I thought wrong. These rapids were ranging from class 2 to class 6. In other words, class “oh this is fun” to class “holy freaking crap I’m going to die.” We went down the first rapid and of course we flipped right away. After being hit in the face by the boat and swallowing about half the Nile I was convinced that I was drowning. I finally surfaced and thought to myself, “What did I get myself into?” (I may have said and thought some other words that aren’t blog appropriate. Don’t judge me, those were desperate times). I was a little freaked out after that experience, but I kept with it and it turned out to be an incredible day of rafting. We flipped quite a few more times, but it was a thrill. It made rafting the Rogue seem like child’s play. I’m pretty sure I still have a good gallon or two of Nile water in my body, but it was definitely worth it.
Oh yeah…and I’m like an official African now.