One day: botanical gardens, a wedding, and pizza part 2 in Kampala

As we walked passed the gentleman with elephantiasis, we stopped and turned at Nakasero Market, a place of spice, fruits, vegetables, and some crafts. I cannot wait to get local vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg, the last which is endemic to this region. And then Matt and I came across a sight to behold – the old taxi park of Kampala. We found it relatively easy to navigate the park to get to our matatu heading to Entebbe. The vehicles were densely packed, though.

Old Taxi Park Kampala

Old Taxi Park Kampala

 

The botanical garden tour was excellent. Vervet and colobus monkeys played around while we heard smelled aromas from the nutmeg, mango, orange, and cinnamon trees. One of the vervet monkeys had twins the day before we arrived! I took many, many pictures, but here are some.

Vervet monkey with baby at Entebbe Botanical Gardens

Vervet monkey with baby at Entebbe Botanical Gardens

The Colobus monkeys are shyer, here is one:

 

Colobus monkey in the center

Colobus monkey in the center

 The “yesterday, today, and tomorrow” bush/tree has three different colors of its flowers: blue, white, violet. These change colors within 3 days, hence the name.

 

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

And then like a ray of light blinding my presence, I paid homage to the coffee bush. Oh, caffeine and that dark brew I long for and yet the ensuing triggered anxiety attacks. and sleeplessness. Here is Matt also adoring said coffee bush:

Coffee bush

Coffee bush

And what’s a visit to the Entebbe Botanical Gardens without a swinging session on a vine.

Tarzan List

Tarzan List

Yes, legend has it that the original Tarzan was filmed here in this forest. This has not been confirmed or negated supposedly.) Matt and I then posed for a Lake Victoria vista:

Matt and I at Lake Victoria

Matt and I at Lake Victoria

 

After lunch in Entebbe – they don’t start serving until 1PM on the dot in many local restaurants here – and an unfortuitous experience at a bank there, we headed back by matatu so I could meet Willem for my first Ugandan wedding.
Meet Willem:

Willem on the boda-boda in front of me en route to wedding

Willem on the boda-boda in front of me en route to wedding

So Willem asked me to go to the wedding the previous day. He met the bride’s sister on his plane ride over to Kampala. She invited him to the wedding (and incidentally she showed up about 40 minutes late to the ceremony which appeared to be no big deal). Before the wedding, though, he and I were able to get to know each other. We hit the big ones — religion, health care policy, relationships – and then I accidentally gave a vendor outside the church a 10,000 USh note (~$6USD) instead of a 1,000 USh note for a 500 USh bottle of water. But I didn’t catch it, and I’m not sure she did either until after I left.

 

Anyway, the wedding:

Wedding photo

Wedding photo

I don’t know the bride’s name actually. But I did recognize much of the Catholic wedding ceremony and even sung along to “How Great Thou Art” which somehow is a popular song here. Willem is Dutch and Christian – the first European Christian I think I’ve met – and we talked about some common beliefs as progressive Christians.

 

After the wedding, we taxied to his flat to have some good Gouda cheese and sweetbread. (Cheese, an epicurean passion of mine in line with coffee.) We spoke with some people on the street (incredibly friendly people here) as we walked to my new place, where I gave him the tour and enticed him to be my roommate for 2 months starting in mid-September. And perhaps I can develop the 25% Dutch I have in my ethnic heritage by learning some words. We then met Matt at the guesthouse and the lot of us had dinner at Italian restaurant per yet another excellent recommendation by Matt where the pizza was ce magnifique.

Oh the monkeys. Talk about massage therapy…

Friendship

Friendship

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2 Responses to “One day: botanical gardens, a wedding, and pizza part 2 in Kampala”

  1. michelle Says:

    I’m really enjoying keeping up with your adventure, Justin, even if I have to read most posts with a medical dictionary open on my desk. Keep posting!

  2. Amanda Says:

    I am finally caught up on your blog! Great reading, and excellent use of the paragraph!! 😉 I am embarrassed to say taht it didn’t occur to me that there would be Korean and Thai restaurants in Uganda. And how awesome that you were able to go to a wedding! Keep up the blogging, we are reading!!!

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