The only way it worked out for us to go to Uganda to visit Russ's hometown friend, Deborah, also a PCV, was to go in the middle of our Ethiopia trip. So we flew to Uganda, exchanged money ($200), and made our way to Deborah's site following her directions. She lives on Lake Victoria in a small fishing village which was built quickly within the past five years. We really just hung out at her site, did laundry, and enjoyed some down time. We ate lots of fish and matoke (smashed, cooked plantains) and noted the similarities and differences between Tanzania, most notably that Ugandans speak Luganda, English, and Swahili - in that order. We were surprised that Swahili wasn't spoken by more people. Deborah was helping a group to pour a cement pit latrine so we went along with her to watch and take pictures. Pictures are always good for impressing your APCD. Because her fishing village was put up so rapidly, there were not enough toilets for the growing number of families. So one of Deborah's projects was to help build proper, deep, pit latrines for families to use. In her village the HIV/AIDS prevalence is about 25% so she is working on income generating projects with women to make soap and other small projects that will ultimately help PLWHA (People Living with HIV/AIDS). We also fed some monkeys around her site and travelled to Kampala on the last day for some city life. I didn't like Kampala because it was so busy, dirty, polluted, and crowded. Russ loved it. It's a push your way through type of city where crossing the road is nearly impossible. Yes, there are so many cars that traffic often stops in the middle of the city and you can walk across that way - just watch out for the thousands of bikes and motorcycles weaving between the cars and on the sidewalks! We grabbed some pizza at the mall, did a little souvenir shopping, went to the Peace Corps office, had an awesome dinner at Tuhende, and met a man who worked in our village, Mpwapwa, in Tanzania before we got there in 2005 - small world!
30 November, 2007
Said goodbye to Deborah at the crazy taxi park, went back to the airport, and flew back (two hours), to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where we stayed at Lido Hotel (doh!). They had given our room to someone else, even though we reserved it and I watched her write my name down for the cheaper room a few days before. The only room left was the more expensive room and I asked to get it at the price of the cheaper room because they gave our room away. Eventually they found a room and we paid what we were supposed to pay, however the water wasn't working so we got an ice cold bucket of water. We were so tired we just went to bed. We promptly made reservations at Ras Hotel for the following two nights.