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Archive for April 13, 2009

Day 40

Just got back from a very fun weekend in Uganda. Kakamega is relatively close to the Ugandan border so it made for a nice long weekend Easter break. We first headed to Jinja, which is a town at the source of the Nile. As soon as we arrived we headed to a restaurant since we had all reached our ugali wall and were desperately craving something that was different then the food we get in Kenya. We went to 2 Friends which had a fantastic ambience where we plopped ourselves in overstuffed chairs under palm trees and proceeded to eat and drink for the next seven hours. It was pure bliss. We had a wonderful conversation with the owner of the restaurant; she is Icelandic and told us what it was like building up a business in Uganda.

The main reason we were in Jinja was to go class 5 white water rafting on the Nile. Given that it was Easter weekend, it was a busy time on the Nile. There were ten rafts. It was a little weird being surrounded by that many white people in normal clothes like pants and tank tops since in Kakamega I wear a skirt all of the time. We were joined on this trip by our monkey researcher friend and her friend that is a hyena researcher; field researchers are filled with great stories!

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It was a full day rafting trip, 25 kilometers, 10 rapids. It was absolutely beautiful. The Nile is huge at this point and the banks are covered with lush growth. We passed many people doing their laundry right in the river with the banks then covered with clothes lying out to dry. Half way through the day a torrential storm caught up to us. We pulled up to an island, jumped in the water to keep warm and hid under the boat. It eventually cleared up and we proceeded. There were a lot of birds along the way and one island that was totally covered in fruit bats. The rapids were scary and yet really fun; the whole trip was so beautiful.

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The next day we headed to the city of Kampala, mostly just to see it and eat some more good food. It was a very nice city, beautifully landscaped. Uganda seems a bit mellower than Kenya; less people, less congestion, less rubbish everywhere. We had dinner at a real Chinese restaurant and then bagels for breakfast at a New York bagel shop. We were all happily satiated and not ready to go home!

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