Saturday, June 18, 2011

East Africa Day 36 (Sat June 16): Jinja Market & Invisible Children t-shirt spotting

Walked over to Meghan's house this AM to meet up with her. We walked over to Downtown Jinja, and went to the market. Walking around the perimeter reminded me of contemplating jumping into an outdoor swimming pool. Once you jump in, no matter what the temperature of the pool, it's too late to get out. The corridors of the Jinja market are tight - once we walked in, we were in! Meghan applied her skills bartering with the Boda Drivers to cut deals with the vendors on my behalf. I bought a pair of $1 flip flops made from tires, to primarily wear in the showers this summer. My Chaco flip flops have fabric webbing and are getting smelly because I've been wearing them in and out of the showers. (If you wanted to know.)

We then walked through the downtown shops - a lot of textiles, beaded necklaces and bracelets, and assorted household goods. We stopped at an Indian restaurant for lunch. Delicious! Prior to sitting down at the Indian restaurant, we stopped in at an internet cafe, where we ran into two of Meghan's fellow volunteers. I noticed that the guy sitting at the next table was wearing an Invisible Children. Of course I had to go talk with him.

Turns out that Tom is Ugandan, and is a student at Rochester College in Michigan. He helps out with the campus' Invisible Children club. After learning that my summer here was partly inspired by Invisible Children, Tom called a friend who works with Invisible Children in their Gulu office in Northern Uganda, and introduced me so that I now have a contact at the organization. I cannot WAIT to go visit! It was also great to meet Tom! I also had fun telling him about Brett Dennen's partnership with Invisible Children.

After lunch Meghan and I stopped off at another market for fruit. Spent the rest of the day hanging out in the really nice outdoor lounge spot at the hostel, chatting and using free wireless. I got to catch up on some embarassingly backlogged stuff. Meghan and I are off to some nearby waterfalls tomorrow. She's an excellent tour guide and friend:)

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