In the middle of my semester abroad, we had a scheduled trip to Uganda for the weekend as a way to wind down from our first section of classes and kick off our practicum. After a ten hour bus ride, we made it to Kampala where we stayed at this beautiful guest house. We rose early the next day to drive out to Jinja where we went whitewater rafting withNile River Explorers. It was incredible. For only $125 USD you get to spend an entire day out rafting the Nile and it also includes the cost for photos and all three meals for the day.The rafting tour ends with the Nile Special, a huge grade 5 rapid which is guaranteed to flip your raft.
The following day, we went around town to the various markets. I have to say I was not a huge fan of Kampala. For one, it seemed that the Ugandans we met were much bolder and had less physical boundaries than what we were used to in Rwanda. I felt a little overwhelmed and and uncomfortable as we walked through town and especially in the markets. There were at least two different occasions where I had to shove men away as they tried to touch and grope me. That night, however, we were able to go to a cultural show where we saw traditional Ugandan dance and it was during that performance I was reminded of the beauty of this culture.
Overall, my perception of Uganda was pretty mixed. Although there was some disconcerting aspects of the culture, we also had some pretty amazing experiences too. I recognize that part of the problem was that I wasn’t there long enough to get a full picture of the culture as a whole and was overwhelmed by the first glimpse I saw. Maybe one day soon, I will be able to go back and immerse more in the culture.