Splish Splash, I Was Having A Bath.

Trip Start May 30, 2005
Trip End Sep 30, 2006

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Flag of Uganda  ,
Friday, July 14, 2006

I'd never been to proper Africa before, Egypt doesn't count. I'd been warned about the dire power situation where most houses only have electricity one day in three. Sure enough while waiting for my visa the lights were cut and everyone spent a few seconds in the dark until someone got the generator going. This could be interesting.

The main reason that I'm here is to be the best man at my friend's wedding. While the couple are both Scottish, the do have Ugandan connections in the family, hence the location.

It was brilliant to be in the taxi from Entebbe to Kampala, new sights and new fears as I saw how these guys drove! It was then weird as I arrived at my accomodation and found about 10 friends from home already there. Due to the exhorbanate room rates here in Kampala I ended up sharing a double bed with the groom to be, now I think that's taking the best man duties a little too far.

Despite arriving around 10pm, I was up early the next day for some White Water Rafting that they'd organised.

According to my Lonely Planet The source of the Nile is supposed to be one of the best White Water Rafting locations around, and I can concur that I had a fantastic time. I'd love to say how I coasted down the rapids with ease, laughing at the river's attempts to pull me in. However I have to report that I was barely dry all day long and probably drank a little too much Nile water than is strickly good for you.

I did volunteer to "Swim" down one of the rapids, just for a laugh you understand! Nicola the Bride joined me and we were swept down the rapids ahead of the boat with our heads underwater for most of the time, wondering which way was up. It was quite a rough ride and later Noa, our guide, admitted to us that we'd ended up going a little further left than she'd intended, meaning that was got the long super wash cycle, rather than the little rinse. We still loved it though.

During our lunch break I noticed that our boat was called an "Arc", then I put it together with our guide's name "Noa" and decided to mention it to her. She then went on a long and I think well rehersed ramble about how her name doesn't have a "h" at the end since that's the boy's version of her name. I took the hint and asked her if she'd asked about this a lot, I only got a very terse "Yes" in reply.

All in all the rafting was superb, I'd do it again in a minute if it wasn't so expensive. Maybe next time.

The next day I had a chance to explore Kampala a little bit, it's as noisey and chaotic as many Asian cities that I've visited, and I loved it. I'm back to having to watch my step as I try to avoid falling down open drains, try to cross roads, and have the word "Mzungu" called out after me where ever I go. The people of most countries have nicknames for the white folk that pass through, such as Farang in Thailand or Gringo in Latin America. However you don't really hear it too much. Here in East Asia it's a different story, it's a word with positive connotations and the locals aren't shy about shouting it at you.

I didn't get to spend the whole day having fun in Kampala, instead I had to retreat to a cafe and start writing that best man speech. That's the speech I've been meaning to write for quite some months now....
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