Uganda Trip-Day 1: Kampala

So we have not been doing a great job on posting lately.  Sorry about that.

This past weekend we had a holiday (Kenyatta Day-first president of Kenya), so we decided to spend 3 days in Uganda.  Originally our plan was to go to Uganda to see our sister Melissa, who was in a town outside of Kampala working at an orphanage.  Things at the orphanage did not work out for her.  Melissa received some major misguided information from the organization that did not match the reality of the situation.  That being said, Melissa is now in Nairobi with us and we are praying that an opportunity for her to do some volunteer work will open up here soon.

Either way, since we already had the tickets to Uganda we decided to go ahead with our plans, and take Melissa with us.  We arrived in Kampala late Friday night (17th).  We stayed all three nights at Backpacker’s Hostel, which is a cool, laid back place that didn’t cost us an arm and a leg (around $30 a night).  On Saturday we pretty much just walked around downtown Kampala all day.  It is a really cool city.  Kampala is smaller and more scaled down than Nairobi, but it was much more manageable, especially for a short trip.  It is built on a series of 7 hills, so the city itself is really unique in that each “hill” kind of has a different feel.  It is beautiful because when you are on any one of the hills you can usually see parts of the rest of the city on other hills in the distance.  Even though it is smaller than Nairobi it felt like there were just as many people.  We thought Nairobi was crowded and busy but it isn’t on the same level as Kampala.  In most places in the city you have to dodge and push through people regardless of where you are walking and the traffic is incredible.  By far the busiest city (as far as people and vehicles moving around you) we have ever visited.  On top of all the cars, matatus, people, and buses crowding every street you also have boda bodas.  These are motorcycle and bike taxis of which there are hundreds around the city. You can find dozens on every corner (The name “boda boda” comes from when bikes were used to carry people across the border, or so I was once told).  One thing our faithful Lonely Planet told us that we quickly found to be true is that the people of Kampala (and the other parts of Uganda we visited) are nice, I mean really nice.  Almost everyone we met was friendly.  Most would go out of their way to try to help you, but not in the pushy, “I expect something back from you”, kind of way.  They were genuinely friendly people.

Most of Saturday was spent walking around, shopping, and checking things out.  One great thing we discovered was an awesome coffee shop called “1000 Cups.” (Thank you Lonely Planet-East Africa Guide for the suggestion).  The coffee here was incredible, but the atmosphere was even better.  We spent a good bit of time just relaxing on the veranda sipping coffee (except for Jess-no coffee sipping for her).  That night we went to an amazing Indian restaurant called Haandi.  The food was not necessarily the best Indian food we have had (we love the spots we have here in Nairobi) but the food was really good and the atmosphere and service was the best of any Indian restaurant we have eaten at.  All in all it was a great day, and we loved Kampala.

This has gotten really long, so we will have to post on our other days in Uganda soon.  The next day we went to Jinja and rafted the source of the Nile (AMAZING!-Four Grade 5 rapids, and several grade 4 and 3’s, not to mention it was the NILE so it was beautiful) but we will post on that tomorrow or sometime soon. 


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