I’m sat here on the edge of my seat, a cool glass of mango juice in one hand and a newspaper in the other. I’m sat overlooking the quiet tame walkway that is Main Street, Jinja, Uganda. The typical free spirited Muzungu’s (white travelers) disembarked from their yoga class behind me here at Source Cafe. The sun glistening from my German stein with a gentle breeze brushing through my braided hair. Jinja, the source of the Nile! Home to local Ugandans, Ex pats, Kiwi rafters, charity founders and gap year kids. A place where there is exhilarating highs yet tranquil evenings. With boda boda’s (motorbikes) weaving in and out of traffic to matatu’s overpacked with people similar to that of a kid squeezing sweets in a tube to avoid extra payment.
A short boda ride costing just 50 pence along with the interference of Ugandans continuously asking “How are you”? You arrive at the infamous river Nile, New Zealanders drug like adrenaline hotspot. Travelers from around the world disembark to encounter the fearful, whirlwind ride that is rafting down the Nile. Or to feel the indescribable feeling as you Bungee jump into the legendary river.
The crisp warm air in the evening is delicious especially over a Ugandan beverage in a newly established bar. ‘The Office‘ a new Ugandan establishment. Share light competitions with the locals at pool, or ‘white girl‘ dance on stage with famous reggae singers. The atmosphere is electric, like a scene from a street dance movie. Strangers crowding round in a circle, taking it in turns to show off their moves in the middle of the group. I wiped the sweat from my forehead and scoped the room, watching the african beats, the footwork and the indescribable rhythm that Africans are born with. Singing along to an African interpreted Michael Jackson song, dancing until my feet were aching.
Outside main street, your a world away from the internet cafes and markets but into a world with dusty roads with no pavements. This is a world where children play with plastic bottles, adults wear rags, chickens wander fields, meat is surrounded by flies hung all day in the heat and where shoes cease to exist.
Yet the smiles of the children, the happiness of the locals and the care free persona of Muzungus makes this one of the most extraordinary places that I have encountered. This is a world I would much rather live in, I am a muzungu… “How are you?”