After a straight-forward crossing into Uganda, I was in.
Stopping in Kisoro, I abandoned the 15-strong queue at the ATM to avoid overheating in my waterproof liners since I was under direct sunlight.
Instead, I purchased a SIM card. This is where I met Emmanuel. We got chatting, and he invited me to his house. He rode his motorcycle home and I followed him. Here's a video of the journey.
We sat in Emmanuel's living room and he poured black tea with sugar and spiced with ginger, and offered bread. He then said "Let's pray". I am not religious so I just followed suite. He offered thanks for the food, beverage, health, and wished this traveller from another country (me) a safe journey. He said more than this but I can't remember all the words. I was slightly overwhelmed because it was very, very kind and warm. It was the nicest words someone had said to me since starting this trip over a year ago.
Emmanuel introduced his four children who were between 10 and 17 years old. They all spoke English well. We chatted about education, challenges with earning money (they can grow for themselves, but affording education is a challenge), security in their peaceful village, families, and more that was either different between our cultures of just interesting.
This was a very warm welcome to Uganda! Emmanuel was a true gentlemen!
He escorted me back into Kisoro with his motorcycle, and I continued into Uganda.
Within ten minutes of riding away, it rained. In Kisoro, I had removed my waterproof liners—they were now needed again. The liners fit under my jacket and trousers, so I have to remove them to fit them. A brief pit stop and I donned my water proof liner, but not for my trousers. I was soaked to the skin!
In the next town Kabale, I found the first suitable hotel that was cheap and had secure parking. That evening, I was exploring my first Ugandan beer and happened to be contemplating life whilst stroking my beard. I looked around the dim-lit bar to see two sets of white eyes looking straight at me. One of the bar ladies imitated me stroking my beard. We all burst into laughter!
© 2018-2020 Stephen Matthews, Biking Over Yonder