Saturday, July 25, 2009
by Ross Stewart

We left Mountains of the Moon at 6:30am, and noticed the rising sun was very pink in the sky. We were happy that there were less speed bumps on this route, and our fellow passenger DJ counted over 70 sets of 4 bumps out of boredom. Just out of Fort Portal we pulled over and our driver “Bobby” (local Ugandan who is expert at navigating the crazy roads!) bought a chicken from a street vendor. We then realized that the dangling upside down chicken was STILL ALIVE. Claire looked out the back as he threw the chicken in the trunk of the bus and told us she wanted to start an organization called “Hope 4 Chickens International.” J The houses and buildings started to look a little more modern as we got into Kampala, after a couple of short calls we stopped to get food. There were lots of open markets and stores with shoes and clothes. Ugandan vendors came running up to our bus with water, bananas and chicken legs and chapatti. Mom and Claire took a pass on the chicken on a stick, but I liked it just fine. There were so many people in Kampala; it was busy and chaotic. I am surprised no one gets hit on the streets with no lights and people dodging big trucks. More people had cars and even a few Mercedes. That was unexpected. The girls did not like short-stopping in a sugar cane plantation. All us guys wondered what the screaming was about. We ate and continued toward Tororo and the Rock Classic hotel. We saw many red-butted baboons along the road and stopped to throw them bananas. We finally got to our new home after a whole day of travel. We get to sleep until 7am which is a big upgrade from the last few days. Emily was not feeling well earlier today and I am glad to say she is feeling better this evening. She probably ate something weird or was affected all the traveling and speed bumps, maybe it was the chicken on the stick?

Here are 7 things we “didn’t know that we didn’t know” about Uganda:

1) The air is thick and smoky…a mixture of charcoal burning, field clearing and food cooking smells.
2) Friendliness toward Mzungus varies by town and by age sometimes. In some towns they seemed very amused and excited to see chasing the bus and waving, adults waving…other towns not so much.
3) Palm trees, pine trees, banana trees, and cactus like trees can all be found in the same place.
4) 2 barrels, a sack of potatoes, a bundle of wood, a bunch of bananas and a goat can all fit on a two-wheel bike up-hill!
5) Animals are friends and food! The family will be sitting there in front of their home with chickens, big-horned bulls, and goats roaming all around…then they become dinner!
6) Ugandan moms are the ultimate multi-taskers! They nurse a baby, have another in a sling on their back, carry water in a Jerry can on their heads and shuck corn with the other hand!
7) Ugandans have Americans beat in the hospitality department. Every person we’ve interacted with in the hotels and restaurants have been very kind and caring, and take a personal interest in our experience. Where else do people double wave and greet you when you are just driving by?

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