Posted by SpyGuy on Sat 24 of Jan., 2009 CST 08:47:33 PM
Kampala, the capital of Uganda appears from my hotel room as a lush, tropical, and maybe rather nice city. Yes it is lush is some parts, particularly where the rich dwell and the golf course area that was carved out of a gorge full of heavy jungle-like vegetation a decade ago. It is located in the city center and appears to be a tough and scenic course. Had drinks and chicken gizzard sautee there one night and the veranda wasn't anything to write Home about.
George, our lead man in Uganda, gave us a "cultural experience" yesterday, Saturday. We visited the "other" part of Kampala as well as the city museum and shopping. First the museum. Uganda had a sophisticated governing system prior to the Brit's arrival in the 19th century. The takeover was spearheaded by the East African Trade Company. There was little if any resistance because of the overwhelmiing firepower of the British guns. Bows and arrows and spears just don't matchup. The Ugandans could understand that. The museum grounds displayed the various styles of grass huts where the natives made their homes. I was surprised to hear that northeastern people still inhabit this type of structure.
During our minor shopping spree for souveniers, I just had to have an African-design shirt, George mentioned going for a beer which led to a curious discussion. George informed us that Ugandans drink two kinds of beer, one brewed from grain and one brewed from bananas. Well, my colleague and I just had to have a "banana" beer. So off we went through the city market down a dirt road under my assumption that we were going to find it in bottles at some local kiosk.
George eventually turned off onto a what I would call a lesser maintained road and much poorer quality of trading booths and teeming with poorer appearing people. He stopped the car and told us to stay put while he located a source. Shortly he returned and with some trepidation we followed him down the street with children coming up and wanting to shake our hands. George led us into a small shelter where a guy was dispensing the beer out of some sort of vat. We then realized that banana beer was brewed in peoples homes and it was in essence the local moonshine.
Shortly the small hut was loaded with people shaking our hands and speaking limited English. We exchanged the traditional African handshake and Obama bumps. Under less than hygenic conditions we sampled the sweet brew. Remembering Agent 99's admonition about sampling the local fare I limited my intake to just two small sips. BTW, it was pleasant tasting and in a way a similar experience. In no way did I feel threatened by these wonderful warm people living in squalid conditions on meager diets.
Afterward George took us to his Home to meet his family. What wonderful children. Angel 9, Abraham 6, Samuel 4, and Agatha 1 sang songs for us and one of them was the national anthem. BTW, Agatha didn't sing. George's Home is situated on a hill and the dwelling is a secured compound, fierce dogs are the security plus an 8-ft surrounding wall. He has owned the Home for 10 years and has slowly expanded it. He claims his family is growing faster than he can expand. Both George and his wife work so they are able to have two servants. All in all he has upclass housing compared to the average Ugandan.