The last week has been nice and busy and really fun, one of the best I've had here. My friend from college Erin has been doing PeaceCorps in Kenya for the last year or so and came to visit last week. Before this organization was anything, it was me and Erin and a few others sitting around in coffee shops and talking about microfinance, so it was cool to have her here to see what she contributed to creating. We then went to Kampala for a meeting with the business school to talk about getting interns, which was very successful and promising. It was a good meeting, one of the great (though somewhat rare) instances where I feel like a real adult who is actually accomplishing something of note and not just eating mangoes in the shade. We made our pitch, they seemed to buy into it, everyone was happy.
Since we had the whole team together in Kampala for the first time, I took them for a night out in Kampala to meet The Doctor. We are lucky any time we are fortunate enough to get some of his time, because he's quite the Big Fish around the Kampala scene. We are relying on him to get our paperwork through the wheels of bureaucracy to become a recognized NGO because as you may have heard it can be a bit tricky to get the government in developing countries to do anything other than stare at the walls. It is invaluable to have someone who knows how to expedite things and talk to the right people, so it's always good to catch up with our main man and advisor when we're in Kampala. We went for a nice little night out in the casino, as always. And as always it was a lot of fun and we gladhanded with some good contacts. I don't know that everyone was ready for the experience that is a night out with him, but it was a ton of fun. Of course we had to hit the club after, cause what else do you do on a Wednesday night when you have an important meeting early the next morning. Afterward we went and saw some movie about the apocalypse and destruction of the major cities of the earth by every natural disaster possible. It was pretty much the most surreal experience of my life. Then we went and hung out at the mall. It was just like America! All in all, a successful Kampala trip.
But that's the boring part. We went to Jinja for a weekend of whitewater rafting on the headwaters of the mighty Nile river. It was absolutely amazing. I have been rafting on a number of different rivers in the US, and in the Dominican Republic, but this was by far the coolest. First of all it was really warm, so getting flipped was no big deal (I guess bilharzia is still there so maybe it was. On the plus side, I guess now I probably have it so I can swim wherever I want from here on out). Secondly it is enormous, really hard to fathom just how big it is in comparison to your average river. Because of this it had huge huge rapids that made it really wild, at one point we went perpendicular over this rapid easily like 8 feet high. Then we flipped. But the best part is that its uncommonly deep, so it's actually pretty safe despite all the power because there aren't really any rocks to hit. Hells Ya. The rafting companies on the Nile are very professional and legit, with a team of kayakers circling around to pick us up out of the water every time we flipped because the water was moving so fast it would probably take you to Egypt by the time you can blink. We also hit the club in Jinja (so I'm told). Awesome weekend. Thanks for visiting us Erin.