Friday, 13 December 2013

The grasshopper, one of Uganda's favorite snack.

I was thinking to my self that I should have written this blog in November, because its a month of grasshoppers. The Baganda, one of the tribes in Uganda named the month of November as "Musenene" meaning grasshopper because that's the time when they fly in. 
It is one of the most awaited months of the year because people rip big from selling these grasshoppers and they get a lot of money. And we always want to eat them too.  I my self can never have enough grasshoppers once I start eating them, there is something special about them that keeps you wanting to have more. Good for me because it means I tend to get more protein in the month of November.
A lady in the market starting preparation of the grasshoppers.

Some people who have never eaten grasshoppers at first thought always think that we eat them row. But that's not the case. Once they are hunted, you have to pluck off its wings, its long jumping and walking legs and the antennas. Wash the the remaining of the grasshoppers, put a pan of fire and pour them in. If they start turning brown, put some little oil because they have fat themselves and onions, you can as well put some tomatoes if you want. Put some salt to taste. If they are completely brown, they are ready to be eaten. 
Sometimes grasshoppers are mixed in the ground nut sauce and eaten with food. Very tasty! 
Buying grasshoppers from a street vendor.
During my walks, I always want everyone to try out these grasshoppers because I would not want anyone to miss such a taste. The facial expression they give is like "no where in this world I would eat a grasshopper!". But I don't give up easily in convincing people to try. I always tell them to at least close their eyes and try one grasshopper. And if that is done, they are surprised by the taste. They always ask for more. Or sometimes they are like, "they are actually not bad!" It is always good to know I did not try for nothing.
Before trying out the grasshopper with closed eyes.
After giving it a try, there is a smile and he is having one more.
 So I say to you all, don't let this chance pass you of having more protein and trying something new. We still got lots of grasshoppers in December. Eat them!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The friendly Ugandan.

Uganda is known to be one of the countries with the friendliest people in the world. It is so simple to fit in when you are new to the country. And its not like people are only friendly to the foreigners, they are good to each other all in all. A Ugandan person is one who will find you on the street and strike a conversation with you for the first time.
A few weeks ago I was walking a friend to the road and my room keys feel in a trench with a metallic cover which no one could open. Then two men approached us for help, one of them went to bring a stick to pull out the key but it was in vain. The second man went and brought another longer stick with some nails so the he could fix them to my key rings and pull them out, and with that, we were successful. I was so happy at how these people were kind to me and very willing to help yet I did not know them.

I have met some nice and friendly people during my tours, and some who are not nice one too. Not everyone can ever be good. Mostly people in markets are not quite friendly and I understand it. Maybe some are frustrated because they have not made sales for the day, and hence will not be happy with anyone. But there are nice people whom you ask to take pictures of their items and they will gladly allow you. Some will show interest in where you are from, they always ask questions like;
"Are you from America?" because they think most of the foreigners are from the U.S.A.
The people I walked on this day kindly asked if they would take pictures of the butchery and they were accepted.

On other occasion some people were calling us to taking pictures of them with their products. I was like, this is different, I mean no one would call you to have a picture with them or of them. But its always nice to make people feel at home in a foreign land. It makes it easier for people to interact with each other.

This man Kindly asked me to take pictures of him with the "walkers".

I always like teaching the basics of the local language to the people I walk with because they are the most greeted and called out on the street like;
"Mzungu, how are you or Oli otya? And people would want them to reply in the local language. So while on the go, I teach the "walkers" how to greet and how to say thank you and the sort.
And don't be offended when you are called "Mzungu" which means "White".  It is just a simple way of being referred to a foreigner with no hidden agenda.

Chatting away.
All can I say is feel free while in Uganda, and I promise you will want to come back the next time. I have seen that happen to my friends, they enjoy Uganda and they always return. Talk about its nature, good weather and the nice people.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Are you an art lover?

Last weekend I was bored at home and then decided to go check out some art galleries. Something I had not done in a year and , I tell you it was worth it. It was breath taking to see all the new stock  I had not seen. If I wash rich I would buy all the cool art pieces I saw in there. We have got quite a good number of galleries in the city and good talent for those who do the cool art pieces. I was not allowed to take pictures in the galleries, except for one art gallery. So you will forgive me I wont have any pictures to share about what I saw. But it is worth to check out these galleries.

At one of the art galleries.

If you enjoy art, I will be providing "Art tours" if you want to check out and do some shopping at some of the galleries. You can also order for something to be done if you want it so, rather than buying something already made. 

Displayed art pieces.

I am not gonna write much about this but if you would want souvenir art pieces from Uganda or just some good art work to hang in your house. Just let me know. I my self got something small and I am not about to stop yet. Even when you are not buying anything, it gives such a good feeling to look at these beautiful art pieces. I guess that's what art is about.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Information about the tour

Well I just realised that most of the tours in Uganda are used by road transport or water and nothing was used by our legs. And if you have a walk around an area you have never been before, you get to witness more and experience more with the locals. I have been doing this for five weeks and I love it actually. I have learnt more about the people I walk with and how things are done in their countries and I am always pleased to teach them about my city and country at large. History is told of how things were done back in the day up to where we are now. I also like jokers, I have walked with some funny people and the laughter shared always make the walks less tiring.

This is Uganda's independence monument. It was unveiled on October 5th 1962, four days before the independence day.

The good thing about the walks is that you are exercising and sightseeing. The more hills encountered on the way will surely make you feel like you are exercising, which is alright I guess. You know Kampala is a city of seven hills, so it is hard not to find any during the walks. It is best you are well prepared with your walking shoes.

The statue of "Kabaka" King Edward Muteesa 1, the first President of Uganda.

There are two types of tours. The six hour tour and the four hour tour. You choose what suits you.
The areal view of the Old taxi park.

Beautiful display of fabric in a shop.

The girls negotiating prices with the seller.
To access the mosques and the Palace, you will have to part with 10,000 shillings each, which is about 4$.

Taking some time off.

Entrance to the Gadaffi Mosque.

Do not be fooled, these are not Arabs but rather European girls, at the entrance you are dressed like this people touring the mosque.  The attire is available for the females.
I do not like to dictate the walks, so if you do not want to do any of the above tell me what you want to do around the city and it will be done. For example you might want to check out all the worship houses around the city,food tour, you might want to do a pub crawl at night and I will be your mate and so on.

The Kabaka's lake with a small Island.

At the Kabaka's palace.
The walks are either done early in the morning or in the afternoon. The meeting point is at the post office since it is easy to find and very accessible. But how ever if you have difficulties in finding it, you can be contacted on your cell and something is done about it.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Walking through Owino market

Owino market is the biggest market in Uganda. Everything you need to buy is in there ranging from clothes, food, shoes, fruits, bags etc. I like buying things from there because it is quite cheap but I hate the hustle. There is a big crowd in there and at least everyone will want you to buy from them. By the time you are out, you are exhausted and just want to go home right away. But it is an experience you would not want to miss though.

How ever I was suprised when I first went there on Sunday during the walk tours. There is some breathing space in there, the sellers and buyers are quite few and things are cheaper. It is because that is when they open the new stock for the coming week, so you will get the prices quite down.
One of the "walkers" in Owino market.
People busy looking for clothes to buy.
I like the bargaining part when I am at the market, some times they might want to give higher prices to the "mzungus" whites I am walking with because of their color. Some people here when they see white skin they will automatically think that person has got money. That is when I come in, to bargain for a better price. And if you are a foreigner but you try to speak the local language when buying something, it will do the trick. The seller will know you have been in the country for sometime and hence giving you a reasonable price.
Asking about the various types of the groundnut paste

Avocados are sold cheaply if you are a fan of guacamole, here is the place for you.

However much this place gets busy,I enjoy doing my shopping here and the reaction of the people I walk with when they get here is always interesting. If you come to Uganda, you should check this market out but hold your bag or purse close to you. And make you sure you stay in my sight because I do not want to lose you in that big crowd. I my self used to get lost in there back in the day before I got used to it all.
Hens in cages for sale and sometimes slaughtered there if you want them to.
One last trick if you want to buy from here, at least know how to count money in the local language, that will be a smooth sail for you :). I can help with that too. I don't want you to be cheated.