We had dinner last night at a Chinese restaurant on a terrace with neon palm trees. It was surreal.
Kampala rocks on a Saturday night. I know this because I finally crawled out of my mosquito netted bed and took a sleeping pill at 2:30 a.m. because I couldn't imagine spending the entire night listening to the throbbing bass guitar that was literally making my entire room rattle. Not to mention my head.
We spent most of the day in class. Thatcher talked a lot of working for NGOs. He gave us some helpful information. The stories he has to tell from all of his various assignments are very colorful and entertaining. He spends about eight months out of each year on assignment for NGOs all over the world.
The afternoon was fantastic. We all hopped onto the back of boda-bodas (motorcycle taxis) and had an exhilarating ride to the Kampala market. The market was packed with people, chickens, slabs of animals, flip-flops, belts, vegetables, you name it. I have never been to a market so large, so loud, so crowded... it was such an adrenaline rush. We did the "okay, each of you go out and make interesting pictures" thing, which I always despise when I see those photographers creeping about when I'm on a trip somewhere - and I was embarrassed... for about thirty seconds! I got swept up in the movements, the sounds, the smells, the calls from people as I passed - and, in spite of myself, I was soon grinning from ear to ear. I finally felt like I was really in Africa... at least the Africa I had envisioned. Two of the others and I started out together, but we quickly lost sight of one another, and we were on our own. It was breathtaking. I can't say I took many successful pictures, but I definitely soaked up the sensuous opportunities that enveloped me. I had a blast. Most everyone was warm and kind, and they called me Mazoongoo (sp?) which is "white person" I learned later. I felt very welcomed, as hands reached out to shake mine, people asked me to take their picture, smiles were flashed my way and kind words were spoken. It was a wonderful experience.
Tonight we looked at each other's work, which is always great fun. There are some really good photographers here, but mostly a lot of really caring and generous people.
A photo from the market is above.