So I have been in Kampala for about a week now and it has really been a love/hate relationship.
Our visits to cultural sites have been really interesting-we visited the Kusubi tombs where the kings used to lived and were buried, and we also went to the parliament building, but because government buildings in Uganda are very secretive, they didn't show us around much.
The city in general is really overwhelming and had a rough couple of first days. We went out last Saturday to a night club, just to get out and enjoy the city. On the way back, three of us were walking, and it was about 2:30 in the morning, and we were close to the hotel so we thought it would be okay. About halfway, a man started following us, and the three of us kept looking at each other thinking maybe we were just being paranoid, but sure enough, we started speed walking and so did he. We reached the front of the hotel, and all kind of breathed a sigh of relied, until we realized that the gate was locked and the security guard must have been somewhere else. We started banging really loud, and turned around when the man following us started to attack us and trying to rob us. Luckily the guard came and scared the guy away.
I mean, this really could have happened anywhere, but just being somewhere unfamiliar makes it especially difficult to process. The few days after, while walking around-the incident really shook me up, and I was really jumpy whenever someone touched my arm or yelled. The people here so far have been a lot more aggressive towards "muzungus." In Gulu, we did get a lot of attention and people calling us and touching us, but overall I felt it was more out of curiosity and friendlyness.
Being in the busy city has made me really miss Gulu, and I wonder how my experience here might have been different if we spent the three weeks here with our homestay families. I think its just natural to compare everything to somewhere that you have grown to love.
Monday we started our lectures at Makerere University. The campus is soo big and beautiful. The lectures in general have been interesting, but I feel my self getting anxious and just tired of the classroom setting. I am really looking forward to my 4 week independent study at the end of the program. As of now, I am going back to Gulu and am going to focus on organziations impleting Income Generating Projects. I will focus on looking at the cost of living needed to survive, and then seeing how much people are making through these imcome activities to see how beneficial they are. I will be picking organizations like beadforlife, that focus on women and those affected by the conflict in the North.
On the brightside-the food in Kampala is sooo good, and I usually have some sort of Indian food everyday, because it is so common and delicious!
I leave for Rwanda on Sunday and will hopefully update once I get settled there.
Peace and Love,