Sunday, June 8, 2014

Day 3--Ben

Today is Day 5…but we’re a bit behind schedule on writing these. We’ll update you more in days to come (assuming we get internet!)

Day 3

Today began with a delightful breakfast at our hotel in Kampala. Over mangoes, fried eggs, Ugandan Tea, and pasta (?!?!), we bonded with a Ugandan man, back from his current home in the UK. We packed up, and got picked up by Edward, an employee of our NGO partner, Pilgrim. We then began a marathon drive from Kampala, northeast to our destination, the Province of Soroti.

The highway took us past small suburbs, farms, and beautiful landscapes. Around lunchtime, we arrived at the famous source of the Nile. Since we had time to spare, we hopped out of the van, and walked to the water’s edge. Edward, Elaine, Tyler and I booked a boat tour, which took us on a ten-minute ride to a small island in the river. Our guide pointed out to us the ripple in the otherwise still water, and explained that 30% of the water of the entire river bubbles up from subterranean aquifers—very cool. The other 70% percent comes from Lake Victoria. We were able to wade out to the actual barrier between Victoria and the Nile—putting us at the head of the longest river in the world, thousands of miles from its endpoint in the Mediterranean Sea.  During the tour, Elaine befriended with some prisoners, which was pretty cool.

After our tour of the Nile, we made the quick drive to the old industrial capital of Uganda, named Jinja. There, we had delicious fish and chips, made from Tilapia from the Nile! After lunch, we hopped back in the van to finish our drive. We passed near the Kenyan border, mount Elgyon, and some other cool stuff. One awesome feature of the Ugandan highway system is the liberal usage of speed bumps. The bumps—spaced approximately 20 meters apart for miles at a time—made the trip both bruising and eventful.

Once we arrived in Soroti, it was already dark, so we settled into the Golden Ark hotel. For supper, we dined on Atap (mashed stuff?!?!?!), free-range chicken, avocado, beans (fancy fresh and delicious), chipati, and rice.


  1. Ben, Thank you for the update! I am guessing there isn't sufficient bandwidth or time with wifi for pictures but I hope you are all taking pictures of everything including the food. As for the statement, "During the tour, Elaine befriended with some prisoners, which was pretty cool." I am guessing there is a great story behind this one...
    Eric MacDonald

  2. Wow! What a vivid picture you paint! I love hearing about the food you all are eating. So far away, yet avocado, beans and rice sound very familiar. Fresh fish from the Nile, however, almost mythical! You are all constantly in our thoughts. Take care and always be on the look out for wifi!!

    Love, Juliet (Elaine's mom)

  3. Thank you for posting, Benjamin! The details about your food, the sights, etc. are great. Missing were details regarding: (1.) checking for crocodiles before wading at the head of the Nile, and (2.) "prisoners"... As Eric, said, take lots of pix. Even if you can't send them now, we'll see them when you get back. As you can see from how quickly you got comments on this post, your fans are checking all channels regularly! We eagerly await your next post.

  4. So ya'll say boat trip and I'm thinking the African Queen! I know Elaine is Katherine Hepburn so which of you guys is Humphrey Bogart? I just checked and much of the film was shot on location in Uganda. You young adventurers may not know the film but your parents and grandparents do. Maybe when you get home you can watch it and recognize some scenery!

    I love you Elaine and I'm very proud of you! You guys get love and prayers too, by proxy, guilt by association with Elaine or simply by the law of transitive property.

    Love Aunt Missy

  5. Hi folks--I saw the kids posted a group selfie on facebook today, taken at Jinja (Day 3). In case you haven't seen it, I'm happy to email you the image. Just email me at (Sorry, I could not figure out how to post it on this blog...)
    Paula (Benjamin's mom)

  6. Elaine, we wish you well. Grandma and I recalled how well you adapted to Alaska, but I think this will certainly require a good deal more from you. Hopefully, you and the locals are enriched by the experience. It seems you have a camera. Take many pictures. You can never tell which ones will capture the spirit of adventure.