a view of Kampala

at the Market

Matato Station

KAMPALA   xxxxxx I was very pleased with my pre-travel organization. I'd made e-mail contact with a travel agency to get my gorilla permit, arrange a guide, make hotel reservations, and meet me at the airport. But, when I strolled out of customs and baggage claims searching for my name on a card, nobody held up a sign with my name on it. Instead, I found Tim and Karen Shrimpton waiting for me. I'd been in minimal e-mail contact with them. They had my flight information but we'd made no plans. However, their daughter was flying out about the same time I arrived, so they decided to check on me. I went home with them.

I made contact with the travel agency, and the next day Tim took me to find my guide Joseph. From there I was in his hands and so glad I didn't have to rely on my own skills to find a money exchange and make bus connections. He was well worth his $15.00 a day.

The ride in the van (called a matato) reminded me a lot of travel in Liberia. The van wasn't as crowded (fortunately) but much of the scenery looked the same. There were mud block homes with zinc roofs, goats and kids (both kinds) along the roads, logging trucks, and so much dust. When Joseph bought a handkerchief in Kampala, I forgot they were used as gags on public transport. I remembered too late.

Copyright 2000 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved. A