Sunday, July 10, 2011

East Africa Day 55 (Thurs July 7): Tour of Kampala Houses of Worship Part 1

This AM I took a boda into the city center to the Africana Hotel, where Meg is staying with her friend Dan, who is in town from NY for a swim coach conference. The hotel was quite nice! I saw signs directing guests to several conferences, including the International Criminal Court. I was really wishing that I could go check that out:) Meg and I got walking directions to the Hindu Temple in the center of the city, and walked over to check it out. I think it was the first time that I’ve been in a Hindu Temple? At least the first time in recent memory.
We had somewhat of a good view of the city – at least a different view!

I looked at and inquired about the worship calendar, but I wasn’t able to participate. Pooja was in the evening, and I really won’t go out by myself after dark. Not safe. We then walked over to the Nakumatt Indoor Mall, and found a cute coffee shop with outdoor seating, where we hung out for the rest of the AM. It was so good to get to spend more time with Meg!

We walked back to her hotel, where she was meeting up with Dan. I then headed back to the Nakumatt indoor shopping mall, and headed back to the café for lunch. The veggie burger and fries were great. I had my netbook on me, so I purchased some airtime from the café. The power was still off at the hostel when I left this AM, to meet up with Meg. I needed to get back to Sophia about meeting up on Saturday.

I had an email from Taylor in the NYC Acumen Fund office, letting me know that my blog post is up!!! You can check it out here. So exciting! Then I saw that I had an email from my friend Allie, a Kiva Fellow in the Philippines. She wanted to make sure that I'd seen that Jacqueline Novogratz had mentioned me in a tweet!!!! I googled it and found the tweet. WOW – I was thrilled! Beyond thrilled. I nearly fell out of my chair at the café and was smiling hugely – I could feel people’s eyes on me:) Ah just thinking about it makes me smile:)

After lunch I headed over to the Akamba and a competitor’s bus company offices nearby to Nakumatt, to look into bus tickets from Jinja to Nairobi. I think I’m going to take the the “fancy” Akamba bus – it’s express and supposedly is more spacious than the one that I took from Nairobi to Jinja last month.

I then hopped onto a boda and asked to be dropped off at Uganda’s most important Catholic Church, Rubaga Cathedral. It sits on the top of a hill, within walking distance of the hostel. I got there shortly before 5pm services. There were a handful of people sitting in prayer when I arrived in the church. It was an amazing building – unlike anything else I’ve seen in East Africa – you could’ve been in a church in New York. I really enjoyed my visit. Beautiful views of the city from outside of the church, too.

I then walked back to the hostel, and found that the electricity and internet were working again! Yay! I was online until late, when I then accidentally dropped my cell phone down the toilet. And these aren’t toilet bowls – they are “Eco-Toilets”. That’s a fancy name for wood sheds with concrete floors and holes in the ground, latrine style - also called Long Drop Toilets. The phone is long gone. Ahhhh well! It was kind of funny, I guess? All you can do is laugh!

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