Since leaving the Sudan, a very large river has become a constantly coming and going companion on our journey. This time around we have re-met the beautiful White Nile in the Ugandan town of Jinja, believed to be the source of the
Nile by the Ugandan people.
The Nile river is the life blood of Jinja and we figured it would give us the best taste of the place, so we took a boat ride to try and imbibe some of the town’s flavours.
From the boat we got a wonderful chance to watch this beautiful and bustling community going about their lives and their work on around the this great river and I could see how all of them derive their living in some way from the water.
Looking around I take note of a few of the many; a taxi biker
cleaning the inner workings of his steed, a fishmonger paddling up and down selling his stock, a mother of two running her laundry business on a nearby bank. And everywhere there are birds; seemingly as busy and industrious the
people – and certainly as noisy.
We stopped off at an island near a sign that said “River.N
worlds longest”, beside it was a shop that from the boat appeared to be slightly submerged. As we got closer, each of us suddenly out the answer to our internal questioning at the same time (as if telepathically linked), “OMG… it IS underwater!”
I can’t do it justice really through my words alone, but it was sort of an Atlantis-esque curio… it had beautiful cloth, clothing and hand crafted items that were so beautiful I felt forced to exercise my bargaining skills again. It was weird to be shopping with my legs submerged to the shin in the Nile. The soft, smooth
pebbles underfoot were so worn that they almost cushioned every step! An absurd thought occurred to me, as they do I guess, and I found myself wandering how the shop keeper’s feet must look after so many years of ‘bath wrinkles’ – and me being me, I had to ask her… she just smiled and said, “I have the softest feet in all Uganda”
This has been such a magical experience that I find myself already in love with this country… to the extent that I might have to start supporting the Ugandan rugby team! (providing they’re not playing against the Springbok team of course)