First Impressions of Kampala

I arrived at Entebbe airport late on Saturday night and couldn’t help smiling as I stepped off the plane and felt the immediate warmth and smell of Africa!

I was met by a taxi driver who took me to Kampala, the capital, about 20km away, where I was booked into a hotel for the night. I couldn’t believe the size of the military and UN air bases we passed, with all the planes lined up just next to the main highway we were on!

In the morning I met the UVP staff (Uganda Volunteers for Peace – the ICYE Uganda office) and was surprised to find the office was right next to the hotel I was staying in! I was pleased to find out that the ‘cultural orientation’ sessions weren’t starting until Monday, so I had Sunday off to relax and meet the other ICYE volunteer from Finland, who was arriving shortly. (As ICYE is a global federation, there are currently 10-12 volunteers in Uganda from Europe, the US and even one from Mexico!)

I’d read that the Ndere Centre in the north of the city had performances of traditional dance and music on Sunday evenings, so we decided to go along and boy were we glad we did! 3 hours of non-stop music and dancing performed by young people from all corners of Uganda, also including Rwanda and Burundi (which were once part of the same kingdom, Buganda). And the money raised from the performances is used to help fund the Ndere Troupe members’ school and University fees too!

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