I thought I’d spend a few days and recap my summer in Uganda. I went with the political science department at BYU for about 2 months to work on research. My whole experience was so crazy! Sometimes it doesn’t feel like I even went.
I traveled to and from Uganda with my friend Jessica. We had a long layover in London and got to leave the airport for a few hours! We visited Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square before eating lunch in a little underground restaurant.
We arrived in Uganda at about 8:00am. Our friend Alfred picked us up and drove us to our apartment in Kampala. We lived in an area of Kampala called Ntinda. We lived in a little walled in complex with a guard. He had a loaded gun, but only one bullet. If he shot that bullet, he had to pay for the next one, so it was incentive not to shoot unless he had to.
We spent the first couple of weeks exploring Kampala and working on my professor’s research. One of my first nights there, we visited the Muslim Mosque. This Mosque is the second largest in Africa and was built by Gaddafi as a gift to Uganda. We also climbed the three hundred and four stairs to the top of the minaret to see the city and the beautiful sunset.
We also visited Idi Amin’s torture chambers at the Mengo Palace of the Bugandan Kingdom. It was kind of a creepy place, especially when you think of all of the horrible things that happened there. Hundreds were crammed in to each room and the bottom was filled with electrocuted water. Many died of asphyxiation, while others chose the electrocuted water or were killed by Idi Amin’s soldiers.
One of my favorite nights was when we went to the culture center right down the road to watch dances. The show lasted about 3 hours, but I loved every minute of it! They went through the different regions and cultures in Uganda and performed dances from each. The dances were amazing! I was so impressed by the performers and their stamina!
We also got to spend some time at a local deaf school. My professor’s son was planting a garden there for his Eagle Project. I went one evening to help pass out cookies and glow sticks to the students. It was a great experience! The kids loved the glow sticks and were so friendly!
I can’t believe I got back from Uganda 5 months ago! It still doesn’t feel like I really went! Part two and three will recap the safari and Rwanda trip and will be up in the next couple of weeks!