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Travels in the life of Laila

The Princess goes camping

UGANDA | Monday, 10 September 2007 | Views [646]

When I wrote my last entry I still had a few days left in Dar. I have loads still to write but i realise out here time is of essence (and good internet connections should never be taken for granted) so i will maybe go backwards and add in that story when I am back in TZ after my trip.

What i did want to share with you before i start the story of my trip are a few things I have learnt out here so far:

- that life out here should never be taken for granted. there is so much poverty everywhere and africa seems overwhelmingly hopeless....but then things get done, people smile and they get on their way and you realise this is just how they live life.

- That africans LOVE football. while i was in Dar there was the African Nations qualifiers games between tanzania and mozambique...and uganda v. nigeria happened just before I arrived in Kampala. The Africans are so passionate about football and really believe they have good teams, they just don't have the money for (or want to put the money into) training. Which brings me back to the taking things for granted...England should really value its place in the WC as it is lucky to be there. and watch out for uganda in the next World Cup- my taxi driver assured me they have a great team and some rich businessman has just invested millions of dollars into facilities for the team.


If anyone knows of anyone with a flat or room to rent to a student in London pls email me asap - Flavia (my lovely friend in Paris) has a cousin coming to study in london and asked if i knew anyone- so this is my ask around to you.

Ok so this is a quick update on my trip...

I flew to Kampala yesterday to start the overland tour part of my trip. It is with Dragoman and from the first story on my blog you can see it covers camping and overland driving to rwanda, through uganda, kenya and tanzania.

i arrived in kampala and went straight to my hostel. i got into my room (like a little prison cell) and instantly wondered if they would refund me the money and if i could go back to Dar! It was pretty depressing and very basic for someone like me who barely travels this way, let alone in Africa. For a few hours I seriously doubted my ability to do this trip...then the funniest thing happened. it started to rain. a torrential rain pretty typical of out here but heavy, with loud thunder and lightning. everyone was sitting in the garden and they all ran in, and in shaking ourselves dry and wondering at the crazy weather, we all got chatting...and so i made friends. most of the people on the tour with me arrived last night so i got to meet quite a few people...there is a good mix of brits, a few irish (a really nice girl who is a bit of a princess like me! so i am not alone), a few canadian (from ottowa and edmonton would you believe), a really funny american guy from texas and a new zealand girl who i have as my tent buddy.

today we had the trip meeting where we had details of the trip explained, we saw the inside of our truck (it has a drinks fridge, a food fridge, a shovel for when you need to go to the loo on the side of the road and have to bury the tissue paper- environmental awareness they call it), speakers for playing music (driver is the final judge). and get this for womens's lib. the two drivers are the 2 british girls who are leading the trip, and the 2 cooks are two african men!!!!

i also learnt how to put up a tent. i have to say that although i am sure i will find this whole trip incredible, i am realising i LIKE being a princess and having comforts in life. i don't think i will ever love camping....i am embracing the experience like a good trouper though!

we have come into kampala this afternoon to use the internet and get a few basica - its a shame as it is the only time we get here. i thought we had another few days here. of what little i have seen, it is dusty, very polluted and the traffic is horrendous. it just feels very crowded and busy. uganda elsewhere is very lush and green though and people are so warm and friendly. I imagine its a beautiful country and though i don't come back through Kampala we will see more of the country in the next 2 weeks.

tomorrow we leave early to do a long drive to lake bunyoni (still in uganda) and then i think we stay overnight there...and then on wednesday we go to rwanda. i havent got a gorilla permit (long story but as i booked late for this trip i wasnt ever guaranteed one- most people booked this trip 6-8 months ago!) but they are hopeful to get me one on site. i really hope so, i wasn't so bothered before- of course i want to trek the gorillas but its not the main reason i came out here. but now i am here and having spoken to a few people at the hostel who have just done it, it sounds incredible. so keep your fingers crossed for me!

the next time i will have internet access is in jinja on the river nile which is probably just after the weekend....so i'll update this again then.

what else can i tell you before this machine times me out? i like dogs now! you have to here- they are everywhere and they come up to you....so i am getting better at being around them.

Nothing else i can think of off hand so i'll say bye for now. i appreciate my friends and family believing in me and knowing that I can do this even if i doubt it myself...i will hopefully write again soon with exciting tales of the real adventures!

Laila x

Tags: adventures



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