Bus trip to the Nile offers window to daily life

Our trip to Jinja to see the source of the Nile was bumpy and eventful.

As our bus traveled through the slums, we seemed to cause some consternation and amusement among the locals, with one man in a banana truck flipping us off, and another staring intently into the bus while it was stopped, winking at me and the other women students.

Professor Kelly told us we would see a boda boda accident while we were here, and he wasn’t kidding. Boda boda are the little motorcycle taxis many people use to get around the city, and they are very efficient in the often-congested streets.

While in a traffic jam, we saw a boda boda run over a chicken. The two riders fell off the bike, grabbed the dead chicken and went on their way. In Uganda, people can take animals they run over in the street, unlike in the U.S., where we keep driving and leave roadkill to rot.

Children play while their mothers dance at the source of the Nile to entertain tourists and make money. (Nadia Ibrahim | The Media School)

We drove through Mukono, and it was one of the lushest places I’ve ever seen: palm trees, corn, grass — greenery of all sorts. We saw men, women and children all working in the fields, and we all stared out the window at the hilly countryside.

The class visited the Mahatma Ghandi statue in Jinja, where some of Ghandi’s ashes were spread. (Nadia Ibrahim | The Media School)

The point of our Jinja trip was to see the source of the Nile. Thanks to my Egyptian heritage, I have seen the Nile before, but having the opportunity to see the beginning of it all was surreal. It was exciting to see my fellow students just as excited as I was.

The ride back home to Kampala into the sunset was long and bumpy, but it’s safe to say we all returned happy and grateful for this experience of a lifetime.