Uganda Be Kidding Me!!
Chaos…yes, that’s the right word. Dusty, crowded, smoky, intriguing, beautiful chaos…
I set foot in Uganda for the first time on foot in a frantic line-up at the Visa station. I had no idea where to go or what to do so I just followed the crowd and got yelled at a couple times. I hopped back on the bus and the ride of my life continued. Because I was sitting near the front, the view of my potential demise (on the ‘wrong’ side of the road at that) was right in my face and many times, I hit my virtual brakes, cringed or held my breath as we nearly hit anything and everything in our path, be it child, goat, bike or pothole.
The items in the bus flew everywhere, the garbage dumped over and my friend almost threw up. Welcome to Uganda.
When some people hear we are going back to East Africa, they ask, “Aren’t you scared of the spiders and catching a disease?” Truth be told, traffic is the main concern and I am more anxious about getting hit by a car than I am about any other kind of danger Uganda has to offer – gorillas, thieves, malaria, dogs (well, OK, I am afraid of wild dogs).
Here are the TOP 10 things to avoid in Uganda according to these guys:
- Self-driving – traffic laws (yes, they DO have them) are more like suggestions and it’s easy to get lost
- Crossing the road poses a greater risk than getting malaria, HIV, Ebola, bitten by a snake or any of the other things that you might imagine –we can’t really avoid this one, but we will be off-road 92% of the time
- Boda-boda transport (motorcycle taxis) – won’t need to use these this time, phew!
- Night travel – mostly because of drunk drivers, but sometimes because of hold-ups. Wait, what?
- Foods that will make you sick – I’m ignoring the fact they recommend not eating rolex from roadside stands. This will be a staple for us.
- Drinking the water – using a filter and a steripen should do the trick
- Nightclubs – no worries here – we will be too tired
- Leaving valuables in your hotel room – hmmm…I wonder about leaving them on your person 24/7?
- Swimming in most rivers and lakes – I guess bathing is out
- Getting Sick – duh
So, Mom, before you freak out, let me assure you that we are not anxious by much of this. We will be careful, stick together and have friends in Uganda who have already agreed to be our 9-1-1 should we need them at any time. It’s not true adventure if there isn’t a little risk.