Kenya and Uganda

Let me continue my last thought…
Inspired deeply by my fantastic hours with those beautiful animals in Naivasha, I approached the lake and saw thousands of birds. Pelicans, herons... Enormous variety of species. It is impossible to count all different birds even in five minutes try… Just before it started to pour with rain a head appeared above the surface of the water. Hippo looked at me with huge eyes. I burst with joy. Another head appeared. Four eyes stared at me. The rain started. Cats and dogs poured from the sky and I quickly found a tree to hide under. No result, I was wet to the bone and started back to Rut’s house. Darkness came and talking to my new friends about this magical and fairy day ended just to continue in my dreams on the bed. Dreams of beauty and nature harmony. Still in front of my closed eyes colours, birds, mammals. I fell asleep with the notion to go back there again tomorrow. Inevitably!
Morning came and we drunk some tea. A drink which is more like milk with sugar and almost no tea. I said goodbye to this amazing hosts and Rut drove me back to the animal world with her motorcycle. It was easy to find it on a different meadow. Time flew away unnoticed. I lost myself completely playing with the creatures. In the late afternoon continued hitch-hiking. A long road ahead. I had to. Sadly. Immediately I found myself in a car to next town of Mai Mahiu. Looking through the window at Longonot peak I thought about the money machine which is the tourist business. All Africa was like this and how beautiful it could be if not so. Taxes for national parks, no possibility to take ones rucksack and go alone on a peak without obligatory companion guide or sherpa…
My disappointment appeared already in Ethiopia. All nature is possessed and used for money by someone. Sad, but true. In Kenya is even worse. There is no much nature left out of the Natural reserves and there is only agricultural land and almost no animals.
West to Narok and Kisumo were next destination. A car took me completely out of my way and I continued instead to Lake Victoria to Masai Mara Reserve – the most famous one in Kenya. The driver - Tony(not his real name) was authentic masai. He has four children and a wife in a small village just at the entrance of the Park. Amazing person, polite and intelligent. I spent two inspiring days with his family in his clay house. Most of the tourists pay 20$ per half an hour to see his way of living inside. They took me as their own. Feeding me with rise, potatoes, milk from personal farm goats, sheep and cows. Animals mean a lot to them and their respect is natural and obvious.
What a unique opportunity I attracted in my life. A traditional family living close to nature for so many years. Toni’s wife does not speak English, unique, different she was. This way of life – natural with simplicity not mistaken with an easy way of life. I find it just the opposite – inspiring, authentic, healthy. The only connection to the deadly civilization was the mobile phone. Touristic business had already spread its spider web.
Women and children stay at the village while men go with the flock all day. All of them wear handmade beads. Everyone is with amazing ornaments and garnishment all over his body. Their ear lobes are stretched enormously and with lots of earrings. Never even is the number on each ear, and one is always more stretched than the other. Some even throw over the ear ther ear lobe with ornaments. Personally I couldn’t stop staring at their ears, earings. Real masai after all, so picturesque and beautiful. They treated me as no tourist and allow me to become part of them. Listening to my story and inspiration they showed kindness and respect. How proud for me. All other strangers and curious invaders were left outside their real life and were to pay for photos and ornaments. Autostop way of travel gives me such reality and authentic spontaneous experiences. Always. Hard work deserves the adventure and the feeling that I live to the full and in no lie.
Pouring constantly with rain(The rainy season) roads were very difficult to drive on. Some bridges were destroyed. In some shiny moments I went out of the clay house and went deep into the Reserve Park. It is forbidden to do so, and some watchmen were about to see me any second. Anyway I did it and love to see the animals and bursting trees again. Toni Ketonga’s friend told me that it is forbidden even to go out of the area of hotels. So at some point not make problems for my new friends I stopped going deeper in the Park. No traces of lions or elephants up to where I reached. I saw only a few zebras, gnus and a couple of giraffes.
Grateful to Tomi and his family I left for Kisumo. 90km away from main rout I started walking. Pouring with rain soon I was wet deep to the bone. After an hour a car stopped. A young traveller with a driver Kenyan doubted if we could continue at all in this weather. The car slidded parallel to the road several times, at least we didn’t turn it over. On the main road they left me and I begun my lunch. Five kids tried to steel my lunch and begged for money. This is my first meeting with nasty kids as I left Ethiopia. I have to scream at them to leave me alone. A car stopped at last and Jon, Morris and Ibrahim took me. They were brothers. Going to visit a funeral of a colleague and to their sister in a small village at Lake Victoria. Very kind and intelligent they showed live interest in my affairs even started joking that perhaps they will start travelling like me around the world. They work in Nairobi but live at the lake. Kind people, they invited me to the sister’s house. We ha dinner together which was amazingly delicious. We ate this Matoke type of banana, cooked, mmmm. There is no central water supply and we used the rain water. Lot’s of it everywhere and finally the roof started to leak. This sweet, sweet water was perfect to drink. I loved it. Next day sweet potatoes with tea (milk, remember?) and I felt great. Every morning this is their usual breakfast. When kids they used eat nothing else throughout the day and felt perfectly well and healthy.
I was invited at the funeral, which was a way to respect each other in a very beautiful and not touristic way. Indeed! There was zero muzungu (white people) there. No one paid special attention to me as being white. All of them were busy celebrating. Yes – celebrating! No one wear black, music, speakers in the middle, dancing, singing. At some point I found in my hand a brochure with a description of the programe – who and when is going to speak in honour of the dead person, story of his life, photos of him and his family and colleagues.
Great atmosphere for me. The three brothers were anxious to leave though. Afraid of the rain and the problems on the road we left this amazing funeral. We stopped at a restaurant along the road. There was only one vegetarian meal. And for my surprise they ordered the same like me. Perhaps my love to animals which I shared with several stories with them inspired them for a while. We passed Kisumo and approached Maseno where I was about to leave them. We said goodbye and arranged a meeting again some other time in the future. My couchsurfer friend didn’t leave a phone or address so I walked in the town until I reached a church. Asked for permission to sleep in the beautiful lawn in front of, quickly granted. This is my first time sleeping in a church campus. The church guardian had friend with him. A young man who started talking with me. We shared a lot of similar inspirations but also were very, very different. He worked in a radio as a journalist and began to interview me. But I am fed up with the media in Bulgaria so I started to question him. He was 26 years old. Married at the age of 14, had his first kid at 15. Now he’s got four kids. No one asked him if he wants to marry. It is legal to have several wives here. I was shocked. His uncle had 3 wives and his father 30 children from his wives. He didn’t know his name yet. Shocking! Different cultures, different realities. Sad story, I still wonder how these people live such a life. We talked about salaries in Kenya and Bulgaria and at some point he left me to my sleep.
A very quick hitch the next morning took me to a border town Busia. I entered Uganda and immediately felt that this country is completely the same with Kenya. People. culture, habits, nature. They took me 50$ for a visa and soon I found myself at the famous bridge where the spring of the Nile is. Two Australians from Brisbane took me hitchhiking to it in the town of Jinja. The river which I was with for so long. So many sunsets and sun rises we were together. Giving life to so many creatures Nile gave to me so much as well.
Next place for my couchsurf was Bukaya and with questions here and overthere  I found it. My host were Arthur and Lovi. They were amazed how I did found their small town. Living in a huge house with a servant they escaped the busy life at the capital Kampala. Arthur used to couchsurf in Europe. The first one being a host and a surfer together I meet in Africa. We had great dinner and of course matoke( cooked bananas remember?). We couldn’t stop talking and late at night still continued. A German girl was also expected to couchsurf – Karina. She came with the night bus. How did she survived in those boring buses for days travel. Fuckin exhausting it must be! She joined me gladly hitchhiking to Nile’s spring. It was her first time. I agreed but something told me to be in alert.
As soon as we hit the road a car stopped and took us directly to the Nile spring in Jinja. Karina was very impressed how fast we travel and even we exchanged e-mails. There is a barrier and 5$ tax to look at the spring. It is nothing special to pay for, just a river starting from a lake and I suggested to show her a different view for no money and for no stupid tourists. We started laughing at this arrogant of the local business and took an off road path. Among the bushes, along a golf course(who needed it in Uganda!!!) we entered a tunnel of plants and soon my arms were with small bruises, her arms and legs too. Afraid of malaria she wore shorts. Strange for me, but happy and alive we reached an amazing spot with astonishing view of the spring. Priceless and without a price tag! We took a walk along the lake made photos of birds, goats, dogs and so more indescribably more. I needed internet so we went to the town. Great surprise expected me there. Full of Indians. (All Uganda is) Lovely Indian food and gentle intelligent Indians made me feel in harmony and joy again after my adventure in Asia. India is my second home and most probably Africa will be but my senses felt again this familiar freedom of being in India. I recalled my Indian friends, Agonda beach, how we played at the beach throwing at each other empty bottles, hugging cows later on the streets, so many moments of magic… perhaps I would never find again another love like India. Perhaps no other place on the planet will dissolve me in this world of love. And those Indian people in Uganda made my heart vibrate. Even I started crying relieved later on when we visited Hindu Temple in Jinja. Karina and me were happy. The electricity was down but when it came back I finished my internet ideas. Than the horrible thing happened…
While we were talking along the road a matatu(mini bus) knocked Karina down with a mad speed. It was a brutal punch and I thought she might not be alive!!! So many people around - all of them inadequate!!! They started to pull her up if this is a puppet and she can be cured just like this. I ran back to her and told her to lay down and to feel what are the damages of her body. She was dizzy, couldn’t see anything. All in bleeding wounds. I shouted at her to look at me but she didn’t pay attention. The driver of course had escaped, there was no ambulance, no police. One have to cope for himself. Ina a flach back I remembered in Ethiopia how a policeman was cleaning the body parts of a poor dead man. He was scratching skin and inner parts ina plastic bag!!! Accidents in Uganda happen every day. At least five people day per day and I swear drivers here are worse than those in Bulgaria!!! There is this boda boda vehicles, where no license is needed to drive. This is a motorcycle– taxi and everyone is taking it as a job. Karina was tomato red still she managed to stand up and we went into this small useless hospital along the road 30m from us.
On a very dirty bed doctors told us she is not that bad, gave her painkillers and antibiotics. Ilussion of medicine! Than someone felt sympathy and offered to pay this one hour in this absurd hospital. I answered lots of questions and very nervous we went out on the street where it was already dark. Boda boda was no option, so we continued hitchhiking. Thumbs up and the first car stopped. When we told the driver what happened he offered to drive us to Bukaya. I refused. It was so far away of his destination. Instead he left us at the end of the town. Another car stopped soon enough despite of the darkness and we were at the couchsurfing place.
Thus hitchhiking appeared the fastest, secure and convenient way of travel. Our hosts were shocked just the opposite about me. My confidence got stronger. Even when I was in panic for Karina I didn’t forget for a second that positive thinking makes reality best for all of us. I was for so many days on the road and more and more inspired. On the other hand Karina only at the beginng, just two weeks of travelling and already desperate with constant boring bus traveling, fear of deseases, dependence of a companion and this accident above all. I don’t know how she will overcome all this. I don’t think I am stranger than the others, perhaps good thoughts are more powerful than we expect! Arthur said that the first thing when one is hit by a car is that he is robbed by the locals and only my presence had saved her.
Next morning we continued to Kampala and Karina joined me again autostopping. One hundred km together and a government car took us immediately. A judge with his driver was very kind to take us to lunch. We ate gondja – another banana meal. Karina continued form the bus station according to her schedule and I stayed meeting my new host Karoline from Canada. She is three moths in Kampala doing internship in agricultureal projects and very keen on sports, aerobics and African dancing. Her house mates were another Canadian girl and a boy form India. His name was Mo and I expected a good Indian food, my mouth full of juices but he was not a keen cook.  He showed me instead amazing photos of Sipi waterfalls.
Than I took the initiative and cooked Bulgarian kitchen. Very oily fried potatoes, we call them “maznioch” at home  They loved it and with my magic Bulgarian mixed colourful salt any plate could be delicious. What shall I do when it finishes.  I took my visa for Rwanda after 3 days and 30$. Glad to leave Kampala as it is very dirty and packed with idiots. Lot’s of boda boda making you fear your life crossing the streets and at this friday night totally boring. It took me two days to copy 6 normal CDs and send them to BG. Everything is slow and phlegmatic. Went again to a Hindu Temple, more than 30% are Indians here. They were the only relief and made this town more bearable for my anti town soul. I prefer to stop writing now as my hand aches… See you soon

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