BY GLORIA MWANIGA.
…….. I have fantasized enough times about the day I would say these words, and actually mean them.
Even if it’s just for a little while.
Especially at the times when I am caught in the crazy traffic, or when a matatu drives off with my change and most especially when I am having a hefty week and feeling like I need to press the pause button.
And so finally, after a long and workful beginning of the year, and as a birthday treat to my self, I am off to visit a different city.
I just can’t wait.
At this point, as the days draw nigh and the nights are longer (either due to the tropic of Capricorn’s summer solstice something or my impatience) I really want to sing along to Lenny Kravitz’s I want to get away; I want to fly awayyyy…yaaay yaaay yaaay. Regardless of the fact that I will not fly but rather will take a bus to the land of Matoke.
A few things I must carry for this journey are;
• My taste buds.
I cannot dare leave this behind because my intention is to eat as many different Ugandan cuisines as I possibly can and review the restaurants while at it.
• Trendy dresses.
This was imposed on me as unsolicited advice from a work colleague who studied at Makerere University. So that you can understand, let me quote her…‘Gal you see, UG People know That Kenyan chicks don’t know how to dress, and I can bet you are planning to carry like four pairs of jeans. In Uganda, the girls are trendy and they do like to show a bit of skin so please, get yourself a number of dresses and while at it, do me a favour and replace your numerous sandals and flat shoes with heels.(I had packed five pairs of Jeans and four pairs of flat shoes so I simply nodded my head but said nothing.)
• My twitter password. So I can communicate with you.
And also keep up with the current trends in Kenya because like someone rightfully wrote, you are never too sure of what might happen in the next 48 hours in Kenya.
• My proud to be Kenyan T-Shirt or the Kenya ni Kwetu T-Shirt.
This is very strategic. The reason being I plan to watch the Olympic games, especially the marathons in public places where I shall dance along to Kemboi’s little victory dances and give an already formulated anecdote about the versatility of Kenyan women when the anthem is being played after Jelimo’s win.
• My Barbara Kimenye’s Moses Series.
This is so I can find Mukibi Educational Institute for the Sons of African Gentlemen; and then hopefully interview Moses, King Kong, and Kibuka over a bottle of waragi. Please don’t tell me they are fictional characters!!!
• Shopping money.
Because rumor has it that there are as many dresses in Kampala as there are noisy matatus in Nairobi.
But I am scared of:
My mom’s INCREDIBLE request.
She made me promise to bring her a couple of guinea fowls. Live ones.
She plans to add that to her chicken collection for variety purposes. And she is such an enthusiastic farmer that I just don’t know how to turn down such a noble request? And may I add that I am travelling by public means. My spending habits. I know when my eyes fall on beautiful things, then I cannot shy off from pulling a few hundreds from my pocket. But guess what? I will cross the bridge, and the border, when I reach them.
Places I plan to visit in Kampala.
Walter’s Boda Boda Private Tours.
He’s the man only the motor bike (boda boda) with an eye view of Kampala Walter is the perfect host: with his brand new motorbike he will pick you up and bring along a helmet for you. Walter drives safely, he knows the main roads and he knows the back roads, he knows the funny stories, he knows the sad stories, he knows the serious stories, he knows it all: the good places to eat, the most lovely places to learn about the history of Kampala, the best places for a view of the entire city … if you want to feel as if you have arrived in Kampala, go and book Walter Fahd’s Boda Tour for a full or a half-day. His stories and his tour will make you feel as if you have lived in this wonderful city already for months and years.
Gaddafi National Mosque
The Gadaffi mosque was a gift from the late Libyan leader M. Gaddafi to the Muslim community of Kampala/ Uganda. The mosque has great art work in the interior. From the floor carpeting to the ceiling designs, you will be amazed at this wonderful work of art and design. The more interesting thing is that you can climb to the tallest point of this mosque and be able to have a very marveling view of the city of Kampala. However, you have got to be very fit physically so as to be able to make the climb as there is no lift. You have to walk through a winding set of stairs up to the top. There is a fee to pay if you are to enter the premises. You must also be prepared to take off your shoes as part of the Islamic custom of respect to a holy place of worship. Women are also advised to wear clothes that fully cover them from head to feet before entering this place. If you don’t have, some sheets are provided at the mosque entrance for hire at a small fee for the tour purpose.
This photo of Gaddafi National Mosque is courtesy of TripAdvisor Uganda Crafts 2000 Limited.
Uganda Crafts 2000 Ltd.
It is the oldest and largest craft shop in Uganda. As a certified fair trade organization, they bring a sustainable and fair income to our artisans. They make exceptional baskets but sell a variety of other crafts – from batiks to jewelry to paper. Perfect place to buy gifts for family and friends. . Uganda Museum The Uganda Museum is the biggest and the oldest Museum in Uganda which started in 1908 at Lugard’s fort on Old Kampala Hill in Kampala city. It later moved to Makerere University at the school of industrial and fine arts and lastly to kitante Hill where it stands today. The Museum has different sections including
1. Traditional music section with the traditional musical instruments and a live performance is available for the visitors
2. Archaeology section with the parts of Stone Age and Irone Age where you will be able to see the stone tools which were used 1,000,000 years ago
3. Independence pavilion of science and industry having transport (7th car in Uganda), communication (model of the 1st telephone in East Africa)
4. Ethno history with the things of recent history like the first printing press in Uganda
5. Ethnography providing the visitors with the touch of cultures and peoples’ way of life
6. Paleaolontology with the fossils aged about 20,000,000 years ago. Also discover the distinct species of mammals like long- horned buffalo and the Indian Elephant Outside the Museum is the Living museum (Cultural village) that exhibits the ways of lives of Ugandans as it represents the whole of Uganda.
Kasubi Tombs Historic Sites, The place where ancient Ugandan royalty are buried.
Mish Mas Bar/ Clubs I have to visit this place because of the strange name, and that I have to eat their food which is said to be legendary. the beer battered fish and chips, and plate of dips. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary For a nature and wildlife axperience.
so off we go dear reader…..i will take you with me on this trip with me!!!!