Minstrel on a Uganan bus

Posted June 24, 2010 in Dear Diary, Photography, Rwanda, Uganda

Julius, Carleton University's Rwandan superhero, invited me to visit his family in Uganda.

Crossing from Rwanda into Uganda, the road becomes unpaved and the border officials and bus ticket vendors happily try and scam you.

The pineapples become tastier, too.

Bananas spring up everywhere. Even Rwandans agree the matoke (mashed banana, Uganda's staple food) carries more flavour on this side of the border.

On Julius's property, right near the Rwandan border, there are beautiful cows.

Villagers set up nets to trap fishes in the rainy season. Now that the season is over, the water level has dropped and the nets aren't even submerged.

Cows still provide ample nutritious beverage and a small income.

Julius, the city slicker, hadn't visited his family in a year; they couldn't get enough of him.

The day came to an end...

...and a new one began.

After a 45-minute walk and 15-minute motorcycle ride, we arrived at the nearest trading hub. We waited for a bus instead of mounting this popular banana transport.

We spent a night in the Ugandan city of Mbarara.

On our bus back to Kigali (which, in Ugandan fashion, cost more than the going rate and took about twice the time and effort we were promised), a wandering minstrel sang us tunes.

I'd forgotten how different Uganda is from Rwanda. Food is cheaper and more plentiful; rules are more lax; and timing is more liberal. I wish I had the time to spend a few months there before my return to Canada in August.