More of KampalaFebruary 28, 2016 in Uganda
We've been taking it easy in this big ol' capital. We walked over to a place called 1000 cups of coffee yesterday since both Jack and I have been itching for a good latte. So, so rewarding. Along the way was a little craft village with all your typical and repetitive tourist aimed crafts like wooden giraffes, drums and bags. We've decided to keep our shopping for our last stop - Nairobi. Thats hoping we'll find what we want there... You find yourself weighing the pros and cons of having to carry things for another month or not finding them again later.
Visiting the Mengo Palace and Bulange Royal building gave us a good bit of new knowledge of Ugandan history and their attachement to their tribal history. The monarchs reign over social and cultural issues here, and are incredibly respected by the people. As our guide from yesterday put it, in newspapers here you will find many caricatures of the president, mocking him, but you will never find anyone saying something negative or mocking the kings in Uganda. The Buganda King, based in Kampala, has the largest Kingdom, was given the crown at 16 years old. It is passed on to the son of the Royal families chosing, and can not be given to the first son, unlike your usual royal line.
Each Ugandan identifies to a tribe and a clan. The clans are all represented by animals or insects and such. It's interesting to hear them introduce themselves - I'm from the Buganda tribe, and the elephant clan. To this day, even the youth, are proud of their clans and follow the tradition (mostly) of never marrying someone from your clan, yet marrying within your tribe. They ask about Canadian clans and tribes. It's hard to justify that I know so little about our First Nations that I can't really contribute to that conversation.
The visit at Mengo Palace also led us to this old underground torture chamber used by Idi Amin during his time as general commander. They say in the 6 years he used it, over 15000 people were killed here, mostly by the use of electricity run through the body of water kept along the corridor... It was marking.
We made our afternoon into an art gallery one, quite like in Kigali. Free art galleries, why not. Again, having the money and space for these things, my apartment would look so eclectic and wonderful...
Topped the night off with a movie - DeadPool! I was so excited! I've been talking about seeing a movie for a while, it's a way of letting go and really relaxing. My mind, which never usually stops working throughout that day, can finally stop and enjoy the movie. I laughed the entire time, loved it. I was probably in an extra good mood since I got to chat my sister thanks to the great Wi-Fi in the mall. It's was therapy of its own to get to hear her voice.
Last day in Kampala before heading to Jinja for some River rafting... Wish me luck!
FYI - I didn't elaborate yesterday, but the national mosque was beautiful! It had contributors from around the world, chandeliers from Egypt, carvings from Marrocco, stained glass from Italy... We even got to climb the minaret and had incredible views of the city. Only down side is the coverings they give - made me feel incredibly awkward to have to cover up into a hijjab and skirt... Like Halloween.Read more