I thought I would finally get around to sharing some of my photos from my trip to Uganda last summer! I wasn’t sure what to expect when journeying to Uganda, but all of my reading and research couldn’t have prepared me for the beauty that this country holds. My group and I came to serve for a church youth camp, and I certainly learned more than I could ever give, and I’m so thankful for everything I was taught, the hospitality that was shown to me, and the relationships I built with some amazing people. We stayed in Bwerenga, located right on the edge of Lake Victoria. I think it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever experienced. Here are some of the photos from the lovely little corner of the country I stayed in.
Pictured below is the sun creeping through the trees on the property. Every day the sun rises at 7 am and sets at 7 pm. I thought it was quite calming and reassuring to be able to count on the consistency of sunrise without looking it up on the internet to find out what time it would be that day.
At dawn, the sun would climb from behind the brush and display itself behind this outstretched palm tree. I’ve heard all my life it’s bad for your eyes to stare at the sun for too long, but how could I look away?
Every morning I would get up around 4 or 5 am (a mix of jet lag, FOMO, and finding the time to prep for speaking) and sit in the covered porch area, talking to God, listening to the birds, and waiting for it to get bright enough to walk outside. I’ve always felt like I communicate easiest with God out in nature, so having the opportunity to be out here in this beautiful country away from all the noise and distraction was easily one of the highlights of the trip, and so nourishing for my soul. Just listen to the birds in this little clip!
Bwerenga is home to a fishing village. Fishing is one of the main occupations for the people of Uganda. Each morning as the sun would rise, you could count on the consistency of little fishing boats to make their way around the lake. There are rules about not fishing in Lake Victoria, so the fisherman would stay close to the bank to avoid attention. I talked with one of the fishermen who came out of the brush, curious to hear my story. He was the one who informed me about the legality of fishing there but explained that everyone had to risk it anyway, as it was their only way of making money.
We were warned not to swim in the lake, as it is home to a dangerous parasite. Many risk it anyway, and I can’t say I don’t see why.
Glorious cotton candy skies over Lake Victoria.
The beautiful area we stayed, I learned, was a migration stop for many African birds. Before the sunrise, the world would come alive with the songs of so many different types of birds. Being from Oregon, and only having the opportunity to regularly hear a few varieties of birds singing, it was absolutely overwhelming–in the best possible way.
There were miles and miles of banana trees surrounding the area. I don’t think I’d ever even seen one banana tree up till this point, so it was pretty surreal walking below them, listening to the sounds of the wind tickling their large palms.
We did have to watch out for snakes. They do have mambas out here, and while I loved soaking in all the wildlife, I didn’t want to meet a mamba beneath my sandal! I was really hoping to see monkeys. The very last day of the trip we heard a roaring noise and I ran outside only to catch a glimpse of the troop of monkeys thundering through the property towards the banana trees with a pack of dogs in close pursuit. It probably wouldn’t have been a great situation to approach an entire army of monkeys alone in the banana trees, anyway. *sighs* I suppose the glimpse of them in the distance was the safest place to be.
The roads are covered with a red colored dirt called “marin” (I’m not sure if this is how it’s spelled. If you know, tell me in the comments!) It gets everywhere, but leaves the roads a picturesque scene and is one of the trademark features of the beautiful country.
There were so many beautiful plants around! I wished I could scoop them up and take them back with me to bring color to the more grey Oregon days. Here is beautiful cactus that flowered along the roadside.
Further down the road were beautiful buildings and homes. It surprised me that so many homes in Uganda were gated off. You see this with nearly all the larger homes, while those with lower income make do with what they can.
At the end of the road the motorcycle taxi, or “boda boda” drivers, would wait for people that needed rides. There are hundreds of these everywhere, weaving in and out of crazy traffic, sometimes with multiple people on board! I don’t know how they do it, (but yes, I most definitely did ride on one.)
These are just a few of the fantastic memories I made along the way and a glimpse of the beautiful scenery Uganda has to offer. I hope these pictures give you a little window into their breathtaking world. Just going through these to post is making me wish I was back!
I’ll make more posts about my trip here in the future, but for now, if you’re thinking about adding a trip to Uganda to your future, feel free to ask me any questions in the comments. I’ll answer whatever I can. Or, if you have already been, I’d love to hear your thoughts and what you loved the most about your trip!
Happy Travels! ✌