Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A word on the roads...

As we have mentioned, the roads in Northern Uganda weren't the best. I've been lazy lately and haven't posted this, so here goes. I was going to make a little poetry reference, but like I said I'm lazy. I think you all can piece together on your own where I would have gone with this.

I came to a fork in the road.


Obviously there is a good choice and a bad choice here. One is a road, the other is not. Roads are for driving, driving is for roads. This should be a no-brainer. Of course of course of course there should be no question in anybody's mind which we ended up on.


This is pretty much par for the course, just a small hitch in an otherwise fully functional road. Hopefully by the next time we travel up there, the new road will be finished. That would shave off a good couple hours from our journey from Mbale to Lira.

Oh, and a little math for your minds:

1 km = .6 Miles

Mbale to Lira =250km
x .6 =150 miles

Mbale to Lira = 6 hours by bus

250km/ 6 hours = 41 km/hour
x .6 = an average speed of...


24.6 miles per hour


*Disclaimer: for theatrical purposes I didn't discount the time we were stationary, which was significant.

Buses in Uganda are fun though, once you get past all the sitting and roasting in the sun. When on good roads, you are flying along the countryside way above everything else. There aren't a ton of other cars on the road between towns, maybe one every couple minutes. You pass through tons of little villages which are cool, because that's where the really real life occurs. I wish we could take a picture of that, but it just seems like a little bit bad mojo since its just people trying to go about their own normal lives. The big question in my mind was whether there would be livestock in the bus, because that's just kind of the image I had of buses in Africa. I'm not sure whether I was more afraid of being right- and therefore listening to a rooster pacing up and down the aisle cockadoodledooing for 6 hours, or being wrong- and by implication a racist and bad anthropologist. There was in fact an occasional chicken, pretty complacent. No big deal.

The best part though is when the buses stop in the towns: a zillion vendors swarm the bus to sell you drinks and food through the window. Not food as in Doritos, but food as in live chickens and meats on sticks. I remember some movie where they're talking about how there's not enough meats on sticks, clearly they hadn't been to Africa. At some point the driver decides he's ready to go, and you're gone. It doesn't matter if you're mid transaction or out in the bush makin' business, that bus is leaving.

The only real problem is that Ugandan buses aren't really made for American bodies. We're just too big. Our Mr. Atlas shoulders needed a seat of their own.


3 comments:

  1. I heard that (and this may be irresponsible data collection) people often have livestock on busses in Mexico? As in you may take a seat next to someone and their pig (pet or dinner- i don't know).

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  2. Good thing I'm not there. Probably need the seats on both sides. Got the deltoids rockin. Pill- Shouldn't be a problem for you finding a spot on that bus with those Sally shoulders of yours.

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  3. On Aeroflot, from Moscow to Siberia, I'm sure I heard a chicken as we were flying over the Urals.
    Uncle Andy

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