Tuesday, 29 January 2013

VSO visit

We could not visit Uganda without stopping by the offices of the organization that brought us here for two years. We were very happy to see Daniel Walusaga but were sad that so many of the rest of the staff were no longer there.  I guess we should have expected there would be changes after so much time.

We were disappointed to see that several of the replacements, including the director, were not Ugandans. Danny and I are of the opinion that those in charge should be very familiar with Ugandan culture and not mzungu.

Photo is Doreen, Danny and Daniel.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Mozzies, etc.

We have fortunately not been plagued by mosquitoes except dinnertime at Lake Mburo. Thanks to the fact that I now take antihistamine every day for allergies, the 8 - 10 bites I have so far have barely itched. Normally bites swell and I often scratched till I bled.

I expect to be making more use of the repellant when we get to Murchison Falls Friday for two overnights.

Neither Danny or I have suffered any 'intestinal distress' since we have been here. Knock on wood!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

A good Sunday

We were afraid we would not get to see our good friend Lwamafa Javan while we are here. He was principal of the college for the first year we lived here.  When we were staying in Mbarara he was in Kampala, and vice versa. However, he came back to Kampala today for workshops this week, so we got to meet up. See photo.

This evening we attended another grad party...for Prossi, one of Doreen's housemates and good friend.

We have so enjoyed meeting Doreen's friends!!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Grad parties

Thursday we attended the graduation party for Doreen's housemate, Tracy.  Very nice!

Sunday we will attend a party for her other housemate, Prossi.

Doreen's 'other' mum, Agaba Eva came to Kampala the day before graduation and will stay a few more days.

Seems like I have eaten more traditional food on this visit than during the two years we lived here!  Ok, not quite.  High cal high carb food so along with all the cold beer which goes down so easily in a hot climate, it will be diet time adain when we get home!

Photo is from Tracy's party.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Doreen's Graduation Day!!!

Bachelor of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management from Makerere University Business School (MUBS).

Congrats, Doreen!!

No cameras allowed or phones.  Grr... 
So photos were taken at the lunch afterward at the poshest hotel in Kampala...Serena - 5 star.

Friday lunch happens to be traditional Ugandan food at this buffet restaurant with a huge variety. It was excellent! Fantastic desserts as well. 

While having our lunch the Chancellor of Makerere who had just finished bestowing degrees, arrived for a meal. We encouraged the 3 graduates - Doreen, Prossi, and Stacy to speak to him and I took photos (on dslr).  A very friendly, delightful man.  He attended UC Davis and recently visited MSU (Michigan State). He was familiar with Glasgow University as well so we had a very nice chat.

Very glad we decided on the Serena for the celebration lunch.  Well worth the price (950,000 shillings) and Doreen, as well as the other 11 of us. 

The best pics were taken with my dslr but here are a few taken with my phone. (hope they aren't sideways as Blogger for Androids needs improvement).

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A list.....

Things I missed...
(Aside from friends and Ugandans in general)
Traditional foods
Sunshine - climate
Using local language
National Parks - wildlife!
Different culture from ours
Kids waving at us

Things I didn't miss...
Handwashing laundry
Having to use bottled or boiled water
The potholes!
Walking on sidewalks that are broken or have holes or mud instead of a sidewalk.
Bad drivers
Towels that are not at all absorbent.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Shopping in Kampala

I had not been in a matatu (minibus taxi) for 5 years but this morning we took one into Kampala centre.  There are seats for 14 but  manage to increase profits by squeezing in 18 or 19.  If the police stop them they just pay a small bribe and continue on. 

We did some shopping at two of the big malls and except for finding a dress for Doreen for graduation, got what we wanted.

Doreen has two housemates, one of whom is also graduating - Tracy.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Return to Lake Mburo!

Checked out of the Agip Friday morning and will give them a good review on Tripadvisor.

We visited Lake Mburo many times when we lived here.

Mushabe could not come so we invited Evaristo to come along with Doreen and mum, Eva.

We spent the night in bedded tents and went on an early morning game walk. After a big, delicious breakfast at Arcadia Cottages we drove to Sanga on the main road, picked up Mushabe who met us there by public transport, and sent Eva and Evaristo back to Mbarara on public transport. We are heading in the opposite direction to Kampala.

We enjoyed listening to the crickets and animal noises while going to sleep.  This time we had flushing toilets and warm showers in the outdoor facilities.

A few of the animals we spotted: impala, waterbuck, zebra, hippo, vervet monkey, baboon, warthog, lots of cape buffalo.

On the game walk we had a somewhat nervous few minutes when several of the buffalo in a big herd starting walking toward us.  The ranger frightened them off by clapping. Got a lot of great shots on my camera but none by phone camera.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

A good day!

Visited our friends and former neighbours today...Ayebaze (Godfrey) who taught at the college with Danny, Sharon, a primary school teacher, and their children.  Ronnie had his 2nd birthday soon after we arrived in Mbarara in Oct 2007, and Tracey was born a couple of weeks after our arrival.  Sharon was pregnant with Trevor when we left in Oct 2009.

Another delicious feast and very good company!  The kids had grown a lot but the parents had not aged at all.

It has been such a joy to see the dear friends we made when we lived here.  It truly does feel like our second home.

Got some good pics on my DSLR camera but for now here are the phone camera ones.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Yet another huge feast!

We spent the afternoon at the home of our friends Mushabe and his wife, Annet.  So much variety of food!  Mmmm....

I neglected to take a photo of the two of them.

Tomorrow a visit to another friend's home. But I will remember photos.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Lazy day

We stayed in town today. Met Doreen's boyfriend (serious) and we both liked him very much. Combined with what Doreen has told us about him we would be happy to have him as a 'son in law' in the distant future.

He finishes Makerere University in May.

We are very pleased with the Agip Motel and their meals. Our room is a suite and very large and comfy.  Plenty of room for me to do my travel workouts (with a fan!) so I can work off some of this indulging!

I miss having a swimming pool like Lake View Hotel has but this is a more convenient location and has much better mzungu food.

Didn't get a photo of the couple but will get one in Kampala at graduation.

Monday, 14 January 2013

I love this place!

We had a very good day today!  We travelled with Doreen and our friend Mushabe to meet Doreen's grandmother and other relatives.  They are in a rural location so we had to drive down potholed dirt roads for a very long way. Her grandma does not know her age but her oldest child is 78 so she must be at least 95.  The grandfather lived to 107!

Afterwards we went to visit our very dear friends Tugume and his wife Merab for a big feast. It was so good to see them and their family.

I do so love the red dirt, matooke plants, the small villages and the kids waving at us.

Photos are of Tugume and family and Doreen's grandma, brother Derrick and other relatives.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Tukore School

We spent a wonderful afternoon at this school where Doreen's mum, Agaba Eva, lives and works.  It is a special needs school and Eva mainly teaches deaf children.

A feast was made for us! Matooke, rice, posho, cabbage, avocado, potatoes, beans, beef, chicken, rabbit. I am stuffed!!  Narya munonga (I ate a lot).

I almost forgot how lovely the landscape is on the way to our former home. Matooke plantations and big hills.  Tukore is near the college which is how we met Doreen's mum and chose Doreen as the one we would help sponsor.

I am feeling a bit uncomfortable with all the attention we get everywhere.  I felt that the first few months we lived here, but got used to it.

Children of staff at Tukore danced for us.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Mbarara continued

My last two posts got mixed up.  Must have been the result of too many bottles of Club beer!

We walked through town today and noticed many changes since we lived here.  Many new shops including a chain supermarket called Nakumatt.  3 floors of groceries, household goods, electronics, appliances, bakery, meat counter, etc.  We were very impressed.  The store opened less than 6 months ago.  When we lived here we would shop at the open air market for fruit and veg, at 4 or 5 shops trying to find mzungu food and products.  Often the stores were out of what I wanted.  I would have been so grateful to have had the Nakumatt when we lived here! 

Getting used to trying not to trip on uneven sidewalks or step into big holes.  Enjoying the weather today as the rain has kept the temps down.  Love wearing sandals, short sleeves and capris.

I have booked a 3-day safari tour to Murchison Falls for Doreen, Danny and I beginning Feb. 1st.

Very glad I have a stylus to type this blog with!

Mbarara main street from balcony of Hotel Classic restaurant.

Friday, 11 January 2013


Road between Masaka and Mbarara was excellent!  No potholes!

Busy week planned...friends to see and a new one to meet.

Met our dear friend (son) Evaristo at our hotel for dinner.  We met him at Bishop Stuart College while we lived there.  He got the highest scores as a student there and is a teacher.

Enjoying using some of the local language with waiters/waitresses and clerks.

Watched a Mexican soap opera with the worst dubbing and cartoon-like voices.  Hilarious.

Road to Mbarara

We stopped at the equator for photos. Mushabe, Doreen, Danny.

Stopping soon in Masaka for traditional buffet lunch. Enjoying seeing the matooke plantations, the hills and the roadside stalls of fruit and veg and other goods.

Now in Mbarara in hotel.  Nice suite with a fan.  Good food. We used to eat here often when we lived here. 

Met up with friend Evaristo.


Very familiar...
Sitting in traffic and many young men walking between cars trying to sell airtime, small garden tools, shoes etc etc.

Potholes!! Bad drivers.

Fumes from cars and motorbike taxis.

Small kids yelling "mzungu how are you?"

Pork muchomo (BBQ) and chips.

Club beer, bottled water.

Wearing capris and sandals.


All the zeros on the money.  Taking one million shillings out of ATM.

Heading to Mbarara today for a week in a hotel and will visit friends.  Our dear friend, Mushabe, is driving us around.  Unfortunate that the price of petrol is very high.

Doreen loves her Kindle and has started reading Wuthering Heights.  Most Ugandans have not heard of ebooks as credit/debit cards are rarely used here.  Cards are only used in ATMs here.

Thursday, 10 January 2013


Danny and I arrived yesterday.  As always Emirates Airlines was superb.  The flight from Glasgow to Dubai was the better flight though - more leg room, a very good chicken tikka masala for dinner.  We spoiled ourselves a bit by staying at the hotel inside the terminal for a few hours sleep and hot shower before the flight to Entebbe instead of booking a lounge.

Our 'daughter' Doreen and her roommates cooked us the traditional dinner I had been wanting...beans in gravy, matooke, posho, avocado.

Kampala is hot, crowded, dusty and has far to many cars..just like I remembered it.

Tomorrow we head to Mbarara, our second home, for a week or more.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Test post- off to Uganda

First time posting to my blog using my android phone.  Hoping I can get good enough connections via Orange in Uganda to post often during the month we will be there.

I won't be able to upload any photos from my camera while we are there but will share from my phone's camera only.

Since typing on a phone is a tedious process (and a PITA) posts will be short.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!!

I don't do resolutions any more.  I have decided though to write a wee note every day about the day, about what happened, about anything....

One week before we leave for Uganda.  Started actually packing today.  I thought I was packing light, but it just isn't possible.  And it's not a lot of clothes, it's other things.  First aid kit, protein, dried fruit, nut snacks.  We have a lot of gifts for Doreen, our Ugandan daughter, and a few things for other friends as well.  The camera and all the lenses and accessories is the most cumbersome of anything I'm bringing.  But I can hardly leave it behind!!  Uganda is a serious photo op!

2013 will be a busy travel year:

  • Jan/Feb Uganda
  • Feb France
  • June/July Michigan
  • Sept/Oct sister and hopefully brother coming to visit - trips to Ireland and around Scotland
  • End of Dec or early Jan Australia and Thailand for niece's wedding 
I am not bringing my netbook nor spending a lot of time in internet cafes, but we will be getting sim cards for our smartphones which will include internet options. I can post to my blog from my phone, but the photos will be lower quality as they can only be the ones I've taken with my phone.  A full blog with the high quality photos will be posted after we return home.