Mission: Travel Upcountry
Destination: Nebbi, West Nile
Way of Travel: Road
Bus: Gaagaa Coach
Departure: 8:00 AM…. damn it! I am still in bed! My cousin had been attempting to wake me up for about 15 minutes now. Too bad, for him, for I had just entered the REM state of sleep after working all night on some weak piece of codes.
So uhm…what do I need. I haven’t yet even packed. I picked a few clothes and stashed them into the suitcase, two pairs of shoes, a book on psychology, phone, laptop… and was soon quitting the house. Luckily for me, I had showered an hour earlier; say nothing about that. I dash to the boda boda stage and he whisked me to the bus station like wind. Soon I was in.
Even before I entered, I had to start dealing with my first lesson of the day.
Lesson 1: TRUST!. The luggage handler asked me to pay 1000/= but I had a 5000/= note. Then there was this guy who he was supposed to refund 1000/=; so he gave guy 2 my 5000/= and told me to collect my 4000/= from guy 2. He was sitting at the front and my seat was about the rear middle. Yes, that place where the behind wheels are but don’t laugh. So I trusted guy 2 to pay my money somewhere along the way.
The bus left on time! And then about the “above the rear wheels seat”, no worry because the road from Kampala to Nebbi is the best road I have ever travelled on in Sub-Saharan developing Africa, and the driver was at his best too.
The real ride was in the bus. Immediately I saw my seat, “get a refund flashed in my head” and also “it is all in
|Inside the bus|
your head” flashed. There were three tightly joined seats and I was to sit in the middle; meaning, no snaps. Well, it gets worse…
… both neighbours of mine were carrying kids, the lady on my left with a 1 and a quarter years old ( I guess) and a man on my right with a 5 year old ( I swear I am not good at guessing age). That meant, 5 of us in a space meant for 1 fat person and one child. Then the bus started off… I had to fit in somehow.
|At R.Kafu: The sticks of mchomo|
Our first stop was in Luwero where they bought for the kids some junk foods. Me was dying. At every stop, that is, R.Kafu, Bweyale TC, Karuma falls, Pakwach TC, I had one prayer; that they may not buy mchomo. How would I handle that smell? Alas! At Pakwach they did it; I most died.
Lesson 2: Awesome attitude always prevails. When I realized I couldn’t escape my neighbors, I did some self interrogation. What is they were my own siblings and/or parents? Surely, I would be okay with them. What if they were colleagues and we were traveling together in a small car? Surely it would be fun instead. Resolution: Just get back the awesome approach to all life’s scenarios.
Lesson 3: A digital native is always in his community (even if he’s in jail). In the middle of the wild Savannah grasslands where the only sounds of nature and occasionally passing trucks, buses and a few cars, there were all my digital friends with me right there. I was chatting with some one in Nairobi, retweeting, tweeting, facebooking, replying an email to someone in South America… my travel did not affect them in any way.
|The R.Nile view from Pakwach Bridge|
The Savannah grass of Murchison Falls NP was greener than usual this year; normally I would find brown grass being burnt. The IDP camps are also dwindling exponentially, meanwhile others are turning into towns already with modern infrastructure being set up. The Nile river at Pakwach seems to have gained level and was a little overly calm this year, probably the moonsoon winds are shying off this year.
Nebbi at last! The land where about 3/4 of arable land is left unused. the first sight that met me home is something for you all to see; my most stubborn brother doing a “ladies job”.
The most awesome thing is that a boda boda took me to the bus and a boda boda took me from the bus to home, and yet I still hate them. And by the way, the guy 2 gave me my 4000/= cash on arrival though I had forgotten by then, just as you had forgotten that part too.
|Edgar doing the unsual/unexpected|