Monday, August 10, 2015

The Fourth of July in Fort Portal

We started our Uganda trip in Fort Portal, a beautiful and clean city in the west. We got to help out with a world map project at a rural school, where Amanda’s friend, Jenna, lives and works. Amanda’s boyfriend Matt did most of the work, but we got to help a bit and celebrate the finish with the students from the school. The kids were so excited to see so many foreigners all at their school and were shy but sweet as they practiced their English with us. I kept having to hold myself back from speaking Amharic to them, which has become second nature, but would’ve been weird in Uganda! 

Spencer’s 30th birthday was the week before, so we celebrated with a yummy chocolate cake at a wonderful little bakery called Sweet Aromas. It’s run by American expats and has coffee that is not Nescafe (rare to find in Uganda) and really delicious treats. I had a couple different kinds of scones, a cheesecake bite (YUM), a few little cookies, and of course a piece of the birthday cake. There was also wifi, which is highly valued by a traveler and/or PCV! 

We planned our trip to be able to celebrate the Fourth of July in Uganda, where there was a big BBQ planned. We stayed at the YES Hostel on the outskirts of town. It is such a beautiful place, with sweeping views of the countryside and clean and comfortable dorm rooms. The “Fourth Portal” BBQ was held at the hostel and they arranged for the hostel staff to make us lunch.

The day started with Amanda teaching yoga out on the lawn. It was my first time taking one of her classes and I have to say (even though I might be biased because she’s my best friend) that her class was amazing. I especially loved when we did dancer pose in pairs. Spencer took some photos and I think everyone looks so lovely and balanced with hands meeting in the middle.

In the afternoon, everyone got their best red, white, and blue on and the party began! We played drinking games, lounged in the shade, talked to so many PCVs about what life and Peace Corps is like in Ethiopia, ate delicious BBQ food, and had a really great time. The Rachels, two besties both named Rachel, planned the whole thing and they really did an amazing job. From making sure everyone had a place to sleep to negotiating the price of the BBQ per person, everything was taken care of. Those two ladies are queens. Thanks Rachel and Rachel!

The next day we left for our next Ugandan adventure: a safari in Queen Elizabeth Park.   

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