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“Whatever cares I brought to the fire pit my first evening with my hosts, they sank with the brilliant African sun into the sea of oblivion.”
Unlike most good little travel bloggers, I didn’t keep up with this blog while I was on a three-month journey through Cornwall, Italy, Israel, then Uganda. Given the fast-paced intensity of my journey, it was all I could do to keep up with Instagram, what with spotty wi-fi, exhausting days, and of course the usual dose of writer’s procrastination etc.
So here, “beginning” with my 4-day stay in Entebbe, Uganda is my “backwards” journey: the good, the bad, and the ugly. (I always keep it real.) As the weeks progress, I’ll be sharing my journey from my last stop in Entebbe, Uganda to my first stop in Falmouth, Cornwall (UK).
Let “the end” begin …
After Kampala: Alone at Last
After an intense group travel experience with a team of volunteers at God Cares’ school in Kampala, I was looking forward to my alone time at the Airbnb in Entebbe. Here, I hoped to find a needed respite from bossy women and rowdy teens—a place of peace where I could do my own thing at my own pace—including having the opportunity of taking more photos of this astoundingly beautiful country. (*INFP’s don’t mix well with large groups and can even become a magnet for micromanager types who feel the need to “guide” your behavior at every turn.) To date, I have 8500 pix and about 23 videos many of which I’ll be sharing in the weeks to come. The one below is just one of many wonderful images I managed to capture.
A tonic to my soul (my taste buds enjoyed it too)
I was not disappointed. Dave & Alison’s Airbnb was just the respite I needed. They were excellent hosts, going above and beyond to make my stay there comfortable, and very restful. You know you’re welcome when a transplanted Brit offers to make you his special Gin & Tonic, and I do mean special. Whatever cares I brought to the fire pit my first evening with my hosts, they sank with the brilliant African sun into the sea of oblivion. (No I was not smashed … just really, really relaxed.)
As you can see by the photos, it was a pretty sweet locale. All jivin’ and jungly with the raw sounds of nature and nurture that you can only find in Uganda. My low noise tolerance, it turns out, only extends to first-world urban city noises—not to the natural sounds of rural African life. It’s hard to explain how squealing pigs, clucking chickens, crowing roosters, and the rapturous sounds of Africa’s Sacred Ibis, mixed in with blaring loudspeakers announcing everything from the Second Coming to that night’s partee goin’ on, can be melodic, but it was. It was life, in all its noisy glory, with nothing superfluous or banal about it.
Some Highlights of Dave and Alison’s Airbnb:
- Breakfast every morning. Who would have thought? It was the first Airbnb where that was done for me and I was grateful for it. Not only was was each morning repast delicious (banana nut pancakes and fresh mango … oh yeah), it was artful. Lovely Alison makes wonderful crafts, right down to the French press coffee cover. Sweet. 🙂
- First Night Welcome. Joined them for a barbecue and for refreshment—we’re talking Dave’s special gin and tonic around the fire pit while gazing at the African sunset over Lake Victoria. I didn’t even mind the bats dive bombing around me. (Okay, I minded a little.)
- Heart-to-heart chats with Alison, a teacher in Uganda, who really helped give me a grid for all the experiences I had with the orphans, visiting the slums, dealing with a little too many Ugandans wanting something because they thought I was rich, etc. It was she who gave me a helpful phrase for any future ongoing work there: “learned helplessness.” What encouragement she gave me just when I needed it.
- Cool dogs, especially their white husky. Okay, not so cool that he stalked around and killed things on a semi-regular basis—like chickens (a death squawk that’s hard to stomach) but as I kept having to tell myself on more than one occasion—T.I.A: This is Africa.
- Super comfortable bed (made even more so by the addition of my inflatable camping mattress) with—Yay!—no malaria inviting holes in the mosquito net. But if there had been, I was prepared with my new pre-sprayed mosquito net from REI that I brought along … just in case. (Something I had definitely needed in the other place I stayed in Kampala.) All in all, a charming room, with wonderful African paintings displayed on the walls (and all throughout the house.) Also loved the cinnamon red-colored cement floors—just like the red dirt of Africa.
- Above and beyond personal attention like giving me rides to meet up with a driver I had hired—and my most needful errand: buying over-the-counter pain killers right before I left (no prescription needed in Uganda) so I could handle the 18-hour plane ride back to LA. Trust me, when your sciatica acts up, sitting in a cramped airline seat for a day and a half is pure torture. Have to say though—it was a super weird experience walking into a so-called “pharmacy” and asking for “something for the pain.” I really felt like I was doing a drug deal but did my best not to act all nervous and shifty about it. (Not sure why the whole country isn’t addicted to pain meds given how easily accessible they are—most likely it’s because the average Ugandan can’t afford them.)
So that’s my post about my Entebbe Airbnb experience (with a bit of an angst-driven preamble.) Bottom line: I loved my stay there and can’t wait to go back there in May as a base for my gorilla trek near Murchison Falls. It’s a worthy goal to work towards as I do my best to get in the kind of shape it takes to stalk Silverbacks for hours on end.
Next post in my backwards journey series: Entebbe: What I did and you’ll want to do too. (Hint: It’s not looking at real estate accompanied by a local driver with dubious motives and his so-called “realtor” friend.)
- *INFP – Briggs-Meyer personality type: Introversion. Intuition. Feeling. Perceiving. (Add ADHD to that equation and large group social interactions become even more challenging.)