Nothing’s fun without a little fun. Travelling to Uganda’s Mountains of the Moon is an experience in itself that will give you memories to hold onto. And even though we went on strictly business, we couldn’t escape the charm and beauty of the place; evergreen nature and nice-to-meet people.
As a rather biased travel tip, Fort Portal will always be the one pit stop for any tourist from any part of the country. Crater lakes, nice hot lattes and agreeable weather, not to mention the cool evenings are all the things to entice a lone traveler or two.
If you are headed for Bundibugyo, look out for the Palace of Tooro kingdom that stands majestically on a hill. You won’t miss it because all the roads are straight in Fort Portal, which is why you will never get lost.
I better write something about work, otherwise this is turning into a review of sorts. Uhmm, let’s see (scratches head for a second). Oh yes, we attended A LOT of interesting meetings. It gave me a broader appreciation of attempts by every day people to better their livelihoods. Simply speaking, PALS is an approach we designed to help lead organisations in rural communities actively participate in the policy making process. Why? Because we want them to be able to advocate for action that will lead to results in agriculture and WASH. Gosh, that sounded like a mouthful. Okay let’s try this again:
“PALS is meant to equip lead civil society organisations with the ability to influence and create policies around agricultural, water, sanitation and hygiene issues, so that problems like hunger in schools or at home and poor hygiene within the community can be addressed at a much more central level, by involving the people closer to the community in bringing about change.“
Kasese is a world apart. It is quite tempting to cross the western border and never come back, I almost never did. Although if you are planning to I would advise strutting to the check point with a non-Ugandan Resident (read
person of a much lighter, ahem! extremely light skinned… white fellow), and watch as the amiable officer on duty there shoves you right back. You may also not stand a chance if your driver happens to resemble a well respected failed politician in Bwera, because you may be miscontrued as running away with the one man who keeps them happy.
The extravagantly rustic lodges almost make up for the sweltering heat in the district. It’s like people never stop working by the way,and they seem to love their jobs. Unfortunately in some places, the waitresses are in love with their jobs so much, they spend thirty minutes spelling out your order to the chef.
We took lots of beautiful photos; photos of the meetings, photos of the cities, photos of mountains, and we planned on designing an entire album centred on the journey’s experiences, only to find that the beautiful scenary we took were primarily photos of roads! I suppose that’s what you get for being an amateur photographer.