As many of our World Smart supporters know, our 2017 cohort will be traveling to Uganda. I am currently traveling there to connect with our partners and prepare for our trip later this year. My goal is to lay out a program that is educational, exciting, and safe for our Leaders. I will document some of the highlights of my trip here (and on social media) so everyone can see the work our students will be doing and some of what their experience will be like.
After a long, flight, I arrived in Entebbe, Uganda. I was greeted by the great folks from RedRoad Tours and driven to my hotel about an hour away in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. Grand Global Hotel is a great place and my room was nice and comfortable. After sleeping in, I began my first full day in beautiful Uganda. I started with lunch around 1 pm. Our RedRoad and I enjoyed lunch at Javas, which is a popular spot in Kampala. My friends in the US may compare it our common casual dining restaurants.
After a light meal, I went on a guided Boda Boda tour of Kampala. For those who may not know, Boda Boda is the term for motorbike taxis. My guides referred to traffic in Kampala as “organized chaos”, and it is exactly that. The motorbikes are able to maneuver through and around traffic with great ease, but it is not for the faint of heart.
As we rode through the city, we stopped at various points of interest. Some of the sights we saw were the Ghaddafi Mosque and the Ugandan royal palace, the former home of Idi Amin. I know those names conjure negative images and have a lot of controversial and violent history associated with them. It was interesting, however, to listen to Ugandan citizens talk about them in different terms. I also learned that there are more than 45 different tribes in Uganda. So, even within this country, there is significant amount diversity of cultures and in the number of languages spoken.
We also got to visit the Owino market where people go to buy and sell. I learned because unemployment is high, many Ugandans have some form of self-employment. I saw many selling fruits, vegetables, clothing, and other goods. After our tour, I returned to the hotel to rest up for the next day. My next stop is Jinja to meet our partners with Soft Power Education. I will be completing some volunteer work there and learning about the conditions so that we can be prepared to teach our World Smart Leaders everything they need to be prepared to make a positive impact while here. Talk soon!
Byron the Adventurer