Check out my song for East Africa…
Hey, everyone! ! Now it’s time that I have to leave Uganda. Aww . Uganda – so far – is the ultimate paradise. It is my favorite country. Of course, Ireland and Turkey were fun. Japan and Honduras are friendly. Bali and Panama were paradises, too. Rwanda was beautiful. Still, Uganda is my favorite because I got to raft the Nile.
We spent nearly two weeks there, but we stayed at only three hotels run by just two companies. In Jinja, we stayed at Explorers Backpackers, which is run by Nile River Explorers (NRE). That place is a backpacker hostel. It has a pool table and a television. It also has a bar. We stayed there six nights total. On the last day, July 15, 2015, exactly one month after my 10th birthday and on my father’s 41st birthday, we rafted the Victoria-Nile with Nile River Explorers. It was awesome. We went down some scary rapids.
Then we headed to Red Chili Hideaway in Kampala. We stayed a total of nine nights at Red Chili Hideaway. There they had a pool table, a pool, a dart board, a volleyball pitch, a television room, dorm beds, private rooms, en suites, and camping. There I made up a game called 15 ball. I played it with Dean Jacobs’ (I called him Dr. Dean) friend Max (from Nebraska) and our new friend Gustavo (from England). I also had fun in the swimming pool.
We went to the Ndere Center in Kampala. They fed us from a buffet and showed us traditional dancing from Uganda. I also toured the National Mosque in central Kampala. That was boring.
One day we went to Red Chili Camp in Murchison Falls National Park. There, I got so close to a hippo that it was about the distance between this blog and your face. We went on a couple game drives and a boat tour. We also got to see baboons, warthogs, and hippos in our camp. Both nights we were there I helped them start a fire.
In total we ate at eight restaurants in Uganda. My favorite place was All Friends Place in Jinja. Next was The Lawns in Kampala. After that was Red Chili Hideaway in Kampala. The Sailing Club in Jinja was #4. My fifth favorite was the market place in central Kampala. I like Explorers Backpackers next.
I really liked rafting the Nile and our time in Murchison. You go Uganda.
One day we left Red Chilli Kampala and took a five-hour van to Murchinson Falls National Park in Uganda. By the time we got there it was around dinner time. We ordered late and our dinner came at eight, one hour after we had scheduled.
That night a hippo walked into our camp. That was so cool! She grazed and grazed, blocking tents. When my father and I were in our tent, the hippo completely circled our tent. Then she grazed in front of our next door friends’ tent.
In the morning we were woken up early to go on a game drive. We saw hippos, warthogs, elephants, buffalo, Uganda Kobs, Jackson’s Hartebeests, and lions. When we got back, there were giant warthogs in camp! There was also a baboon on a picnic table. A couple hours later we went on a boat safari. We saw many hippos. We saw birds, too. When we got back Mom put in our orders for dinner and our packed breakfast. We stayed up late and chatted with our friends from England, Italy, Germany, and the US. The next morning, we woke up early, drove a mini game drive, then left.
Murchinson Falls Park is awesome!
Last night we went to the Ndere Center in Kampala, Uganda. They show traditional dances while you eat dinner. Before or after every single dance, they talked about the dance. Many people would dance to a song at once. It was traditional dances danced to traditional music. They also had one dance from Rwanda and drums from Burundi.
At one point they joked about Obama. They said that Obama was not a name but an acronym. They said it stood for Original Black African Managing America.
There were a lot of kids there, too. I meant three others there, but there had to be at least twenty other kids. The kids I met were ages 2, 4, 5, and 10. The four year old was named Andrew. He was from Germany, I think. He was speaking German. The ten year old was from Uganda. His name was Samuel and was one of the dancers in the show. I think the other two are from Uganda. At the end we all mixed and danced and partied and it was just fun.
Do you remember my post, GIASCO Boys? It is a post about the boys that GIASCO (Getting Involved with African Street Children Organization) takes care of. Twenty-nine former street children are given food, water, shelter, and education. Click the link to read the full post.
When we were with the boys in Jinja in Mid-July, we donated mattresses, sheets, and mattress protectors because that was what they needed most. Now I am raising money to buy shoes for them. They do have shoes, but those are their school shoes and they cannot wear them during free time.
The shoes will be given to them on August 14, during their annual birthday party. We have until July 31 to donate. We are trying to raise $450(about £290 British Pounds) for shoes for all 29 of the boys. To donate, click below. Be sure to type “SHOES” in the message box of your donation form. Will you PLEEEEEEEASE help me buy shoes for the boys?
Click on link below, then scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the blue “Support GI ASCO” box Click here to donate.
On Saturday, in Kampala, Uganda, we went to a restaurant called The Lawns. They served all kinds of wild game including Springbok, Blesbok, Ostrich, Kudu, Crocodile, Impala, and occasionally Wildebeest. I ate an ostrich burger. Mom had a Kudu steak. And Dad had a game meat platter. He could have chosen four of the six following: springbok, Blesbok, ostrich, kudu, crocodile, and Impala. His first choice was Impala, because he just had to have Impala in Kampala. He also chose crocodile and ostrich, because he wanted the bird, the reptile, and the mammal. He also chose kudu. He says the reason for this is “‘cus I kudu it”. The ostrich burger was the one of best burger I have had since I was born. That’s a long time!
Sploosh! “James, look up!” I refused to obey my father. I was scared. Next time, I decided.
The whole time we rode with two girls named Jade and Jamie. They are nice girls that live in Uganda and raft the Nile a lot. They are about my age. Jade told me all about every single rapid. She sometimes asked our guide for information.
We had just finished the rapid Retrospect. The next rapid we rode was part of the rapid The Bad Place. Then was the rapid Vengeance, which was a little scary. Next we surfed on a rapid called The Little Wave. It was actually a little wave. Afterwards, we rode Hair of the Dog. That was the most fun. Next was Cool Shaker. Finally was my favorite… Nile Special.
It was so much fun. I looked up on all of them except Retrospect. I think that rafting on the Nile is awesome and that everyone should do it.
Today I saved a baby lizard. That’s all I did today. 🙂
On Monday, July 13, we heard of an organization for street boys, Getting Involved with African Street Children Organization (GIASCO). It is run by Gerald, the bar manager at our hostel and his wife, Sarah. We heard about it by talking to him and Sophie, who was a nursing student for another organization in Jinja for the summer. We decided to check it out. We went to the home were the street boys lived.
It had a nice big yard, a big dining room, a medium-sized kitchen, and an outside kitchen/office, as far as I saw. The dining room was also the entry room, and it had a very accurate map, and the reason I consider it accurate is because it included South Sudan, which most maps don’t do. It also showed every flag of every country. It was a nice place, and it was just as good of a organization. The boys are provided with food, water, shelter, and education. The organization pays for their school fees, because school in Uganda is not free.
I played a little soccer with the boys. We ate dinner with the boys. It was posho and beans. Posho is like Ugali, which is like a cake made of maize with no icing. It is not sweet at all. It is bland on its own, but with something else it tastes just like that other thing. The boys were really nice.
After a Ugandan All Friends’ pizza, I wiggled my tooth. It popped loose on one side.I decided to then pull it out. It was painless, but the napkin was covered in blood.
We asked the waiter what Ugandan kids do when they lose their tooth.He said the kids throw the tooth away, and then the adult tooth grows in fast.
We also decided to ask one of the workers at our hostel. When we got back to our hostel, I showed the barman at our hostel’s restaurant my tooth. He said that you hide it and the rat comes and takes it and leaves you money. I put my tooth it in a plastic water bottle.I put the bottle under my bed.
In the morning, my baby tooth was gone, as well as the cap. Instead, there was a 1,000 Ugandan Shilling bill in the bottle! That might seem like a lot, but it is not. $1 U.S. is worth 3,300 Ugandan Shillings. So the rat gave me about 33 cents. That’s not a lot at all! But it is enough to play two games of pool at my hostel.