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Monday, January 22, 2007

Uganda: Kabalagala...not so quiet


Note to all traveling to Uganda in the future. Embassy Hotel in Kabalagala is a cruel, mean trick. Upon check in, you find a spotless, modern hotel with large rooms and full en-suite bathrooms, balconies overlooking the lively neighborhood, and pretty reliable electricity. However, Kabalagala turns out to be club/party central in Kampala, and the walls of Embassy Hotel might as well be made of tissue paper. I lay awake all night long on the mattress (which I think is actually concrete), listening to reggaeton and full conversations of Ugandans (through ear plugs, no less) at bars up and down the street. These crazy people partied until about 6 a.m. on Sunday. Unless you happen to be deaf or an insomniac, I suggest choosing a different hotel.

Luckily we received a call from Rebekah saying that a room in her house was available for Katie and I to share for the remainder of the trip. After spending the day at Cafe Pap drinking coffee and working with Abramz on his Breakdance for Social Change project (setting up email, teaching him how to keep a ledger book of expenses and receipts), Katie and I packed up once again and moved to Kisementi, the beloved neighborhood of Fat Boyz and Just Kickin. We can see the bars from our quaint purple balcony. The house sits atop a "French" restaurant called La Fontaine. Oh, and for dinner last night we tried the rumored Mexican menu at Fat Boyz - it was actually pretty good (think chapati with beans, rice and chicken).

The last two days have been relatively uneventful (especially compared with hiking Sipi and running around with all the students), but I think that was a good break before the start of my final week. Sundays in Kampala are beautiful. The town is quiet, as everyone (and I mean everyone) is at church. Precious few places are open, so we spent the whole day at Cafe Pap. I took a walk around Parliament as well. It's a completely different place during the week, full of whizzing bodas and car horns, dust and crowds of people.

Today we are in town early to take Abramz and Ortega to open bank accounts at Barclays. We're taking Ortega to pick up mattresses and some other things that were stolen from his home last week. Tonight we're attending a breakdance class that Abramz will be teaching in Nsambya. We've also been working a lot on "to do" for the fair trade project with the women in Namuwongo, and we'll be moving forward with that in the next few days.

1 comment:

JED said...

kabalagala is lookin' great !! it's been over 10 years since i was there - that big yellow building was under construction then and the place i stayed was just past it . i remember this street very well because i spent alot of time here talking to people and taking photos (all of which I've lost to lifestyle)

anyways , thanks for the reminder and I'm sorry you didn't enjoy kabalagala as much as I did !!