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KAMPALA RPT: last notes from kampala  KAL-@aol.com
 May 17, 2007 01:14 PDT 

 KAMPALA RPT: last notes from kampala

16 May 2007

Greetings Family,

How are you this fine day? Things are quiet here. I
am in an African owned hotel on Tank Hill in the
Muyenga suburb of Kampala. It is a pretty affluent
area. I have some extra time on my hands while I wait
here at the computer hoping for a confirmation for a
hotel in Kigali, Rwanda for tomorrow night. It
appears that my contacts there have not panned out and
that I am rather on my own again. But I am not very
worried. My flight from Entebbe, Uganda is only an
hour and it should all work out.

I want to tell you again how wonderful the Ugandan
experience has been for me. It is rare that I have
such a fruitful visit. The people are very friendly
here and seem quite receptive to other Africans. I
have toured the center, east, north and western
regions of the country.

One thing that I can say with great certainty is that
the life of the ordinary person here is very, very
hard. I have been told that less then twenty percent
of the people have regular access to electricity. I
think that the majority of the people have to fetch
water. And only one in twenty university graduates
can expect to find a job. The prisons are full and
crowded, and the health care system is awful.

Like much of Africa Uganda has been raped and pillaged
not just by white folks but by corrupt African leaders
as well, who have sold us down the river. When are we
going to hold our own leaders accountable?

I go back to the people here. I would argue that they
are Uganda's greatest resource. Kind, polite, humble,
gentle, caring and friendly, they are very special.

Yesterday I took the most common form of
transportation here. They are called bota botas and
are little motorcycles. The traffic here is murder.
The city of Kampala was not built for all of these
cars. The educational system, like the legal system,
is based on the British model. The currency here is
the Ugandan shilling. The food is delicious,
especially the tilapia fish. I have not been sick a
single day and find myself relaxed and content.

So tomorrow evening, god willing, I will be in Kigali,
Rwanda. It will make African country number twenty
that I have visited. Keep a positive thought for me.
I hope that Rwanda is as nice as Uganda!

In love of Africa,

Runoko Rashidi in Kampala, Uganda

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