The Uganda trip started with a long car ride from Entebbe to Kibale. During this roadtrip I had the chance to see parts of both the the city and rural life. It’s so different, but at the same time very familiar. Smartphones, social media and World Cup mixed with the self-sufficient way of life we haven’t had in Sweden for a long time. Maybe it was the feeling of being home and at the same time being far away from everything I’m used to that made me feel so charmed by Uganda. I have to admit, sometimes it was very hard not to getting affected by the cultural, economical, political and social differences. A couple of times I had to remind myself to keep an emotional distance. I’m visiting Uganda to get an understanding rather than trying to make a difference. Understanding Uganda involved laughter, tears and stomachache.
Local markets where you can buy iron bars, vegetables, bricks, second hand sofas, medicine that has been banned in Sweden for many years, sweaty goat meat hanging outside in the sun, huge speakers pumping African tunes and a lot, lot, lot more. Kids happily waving to tourists while running next to the car screaming “How are you?”. Cattle tied to trees on the side of the road eating grass mixed with dust and pollution. Small, sand colored houses along the road which never seem to be inhabited due to the lack of electricity. Everyone is outside. Cooking, playing, cleaning cassava roots, watching TV, farming, chatting and bringing water from the wells or rivers. One of the first things that struck me when I was looking out from the train between Copenhagen and my hometown after the Uganda trip was the emptiness. Despite the sunshine and 25 degrees, no one was outside and Sweden now felt like a ghost town compared to Uganda. I do believe we used to be more like the Ugandans, but maybe the increased individualism and our dependency of socializing through devices might have made us a bit more scared of the face to face contact with people who are not considered to be close family or friends? However, it made me a bit sad realizing we have lost something very human and important to us and I hope the Ugandans will never lose this.
Selfie-time after shopping. We bought sugar, paper and footballs. This was not souvenirs for our loved ones back in Sweden. This was our gift to the children living in one of the orphanages in Fort Portal. We had the opportunity to visit an orphanage and see how the children are living and where they are going to school. Due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Uganda there are many children who have lost families and homes. I’m really looking forward to hearing about the Ugandan doctors, politicians, teachers and athletes in a couple of years. Uganda is a highly developing country and I’m really excited about the future this country!
The younger children.
Showing the magic of a Polaroid photo.
The orphanage’s home breed pigs.
A part of the school where the children are going.
Football always high up on the agenda.
This was the first day of our Uganda trip, but there are still 7 more days to share.