My first venture out of Uganda was to Kenya, a country I wasn’t even sure I was going to visit during my time here. The continual terror attacks by Al Shabaab made me a little apprehensive about going, especially as we were going to stay a night in Nairobi due to the recent ban on Kenyan buses travelling after dark. But when my friends told me about their ultimate frisbee tournament in Mombasa, a beach paradise on the east coast, I couldn’t refuse the offer to go with them!
My first impression of Kenya wasn’t great; we reached the border around 4am and as we were going through immigration a policewoman took me to a small shack and demanded an ‘Easter gift’. But after about ten minutes, when she realised I wasn’t going to give her anything, she finally let me go. I felt a small sense of triumph but mostly relief as I climbed back onto the bus with the others. But honestly, I found my preconceptions about Kenya disappearing out of the window with every kilometre that flashed by on the bus; the countryside was green and lush, the sky bright blue, and even Nairobi was smarter and far less chaotic than I was expecting!
We didn’t see much of Mombasa itself but went straight to the beach – a ferry, taxi and tuk tuk ride away from the centre of town – finally arriving about 11pm. Somehow we managed to put up our tent with just the light from my small wind-up torch (we had a few false starts!) and then it was time to put our feet up with some Kenyan beers! The beach really was paradise, and the view from my tent managed to take my breath away every single morning (see above!) The frisbee tournament was fun to watch too, and now we’re back in Kampala I’ve even joined the team!