Waterfalls, coffee and corruption

Sipi Falls are very beautiful. They are actually 3 separate falls each of over 90metres high.  Just a shame I couldn’t enjoy them to the full as I had hoped.  My groin muscles are currently so tight after horse riding that I can’t stride out which means climbing up hill where in some places you need to make big steps to get over obstacles very difficult.  Downhill is just as painful and I think I may have ended up tweaking my left side.  So it mean I could only climb one of them and the other two I had to see from either the bottom or viewpoints – which was rather annoying.

Hotel I was staying in was lovely – right at the bottom of the middle falls – only downside was that the rooms weren’t on-suite (which was a surprise for the price they were) and the toilets were natural ones so didn’t smell too pleasant.  I hate that feeling of having to get up in the middle of the night when it is cold outside and put on shoes and a coat just to go to the toilet.  Doesn’t endear the thought of kili to me next week.

As hiking was cut short I went to make some coffee – starting by shelling the dried beans, roasting them then grinding them to a powder – unfortunately then I had to drink it. Being a non coffee drinker these days even I thought it tasted good however for the next hour my head didn’t feel like my own.  There is a reason I no longer drink coffee – my body can’t seem to cope with it – but its easy to see how people get addicted.

Yet again very few people staying in the hotel – I am getting really fed up with being on my own all the time – I miss having friends to talk too.  The downside of this is when I do find someone to talk to I can’t seem to shut up and become quite boring!  Which was a good job as the only other person staying in the place was a young Belgian guy who really was the most pretentious and arrogant person I had come across in a while.  I preferred to sit on my own to talking to him.  I also made friends with the hotel cat – just reminds me how much I miss having pets – I need to get a job where I can get animals again.

I read an engaging but depressing book called An Ordinary Man – its by the hotel manager of the Mille Collines through the genocide in Rwanda – the film Hotel Rwanda was based on his story.  I really must stop reading these books as they put me in a low mood which I have been sinking in ever since. 

This was not helped by the fact that on the way back to Entebbe we got stopped over several times by corrupt policemen demanding money.  Each time they claimed we were speeding (we were not) because the driver braked when he saw them.  At the first one he was saying that he had a speeding camera in his car and what should we do if it was proved that he was speeding?  Basically he wanted a bribe.  I wanted him to prove it and show us the camera – which I know they only have hand held ones in Uganda so it was no use what so ever locked away in the car.  Plus I very much doubt it has been calibrated in a very long time and I also would have asked to see his badge, demanded a receipt and taken note of his name and number – however my driver took him behind the car and paid him off before I could get very far into my rant!  He claims it’s much easier that way as otherwise they will keep us tied up in paperwork at the station for hours and he will just make up what he wants anyway. 

I managed to keep my tongue the second time but corruption and inefficiency really really frustrate me.  Maybe I’m not cut out for Africa.  I am starting to miss things from home (not just ability to cook, not having to live out of a suitcase and friends) but also fresh air – well over 50% of the vehicles here are not really roadworthy and belch out thick black smoke all the time from the exhausts.  When its hard to overtake or in traffic jams in the city this becomes quite unpleasant.  Roads without potholes are just a long forgotten dream.  I am longing for the day where I no longer need to wear DEET insect repellent – its horrible stuff – as are the mosquitos and food that isn’t fried is just a pipe dream.  I tried ordering grilled potatoes last night and they came fried too!

Last day in Uganda today then two days back in Korogwe again (joy of joys) where the food is even worse – why did I agree to it?????? Before attempting Kili – which again Im apprehensive about and not looking forward to, followed by two days of diving in Zanzibar (I can’t even get excited about that at the moment) before home.  Sure I will snap out of this soon.

Oh great a storm is coming – I have to get on a plane in 4hours – hope its passed by then.

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About becksupeverest

Took a leave of absence from work and decided to work as a volunteer in Tanzania based in Korogwe, a small town in the northeast of the country (combined with some travels around East Africa). The project is to look at the cost base, strategy and business plan of a tree nursery NGO - one of the Gatsby Foundation projects.
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