The streets of Kampala are full of life and vibrant colors. The people love to sit around and have a good chat while everything buzzes around them. Ugandans are incredibly friendly and hospitable, they invite you right into their homes and offer all they have.
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I know that pictures like this are not for everyone, perhaps including myself, but I posted it because of the subject and what it says. This shot is of orphans in Kampala, Uganda at nightfall. For whatever reason these children have lost all family and began to live on the streets. A Ugandan friend of mine who works with the orphans of Uganda told me that many of the children huff jet fuel to cope with life. Its a heartbreaking tragedy. The good news is that many Ugandans are starting orphanges so that these children can have a future.
After a hot Ugandan morning we went up to the food court at the biggest mall in Kampala. We picked a table on the veranda and before we could sit down, every restaurant employee had left their shop and started shoving their menus in our faces. We bought next to nothing, but the most amazing thing was that the exact same thing happened every time someone sat down in the food court.
I took this panorama from the top of a hill in downtown Kampala. This was the successful version of my prior failure. Kampala is a beautiful city of rolling hills and lush jungles. This picture is actually a compilation of 24 different shots, a technique I learned from my friend Joy. If you click it it will enlarge!
Aside from almost being devoured by a wolf in Mongolia, taking this shot was probably the closest I have ever come being killed for the sake of a photo. It was my last night in Kampala, and I wanted to get a few more good shots before I left. I walked down the road, and away from everyone I knew, to attempt a panorama of Kampala. After firing off a few frames I found myself very close to a group of meth addicts and what Ugandan’s call “crazy women”. I ended up paying a boda-boda, a Ugandan moped taxi, driver five dollars to get me back up the hill.
As we snaked through the streets of Kampala we noticed that we could turn onto one beautifully paved street and then the next turn would lead to a road that had axel cracking potholes every three feet. We asked our Ugandan friends why some roads were so well paved, while others had been left to erode. They told us that two years ago the Queen of England made a visit Uganda and the governement mapped out her route and re-paved those roads and began construction on buildings that they had no intention of finishing. They spent millions of dollars for a facade of pomp and circumstance to impress their former colonizer.
It is said that once you get the dust of Africa on you that you will always yearn to go back. This sunset is typical in Kampala and the sunrises are even more wondrous. What you can’t tell from this picture is that the bird flying into sunset is a marabou stork. These birds are about four feet tall with scabby heads and razor sharp beaks, and they fly in circles around the city eating garbage and feasting on fresh corpses. This post is dedicated to Yogesh for surviving childhood in Kampala with these things flying overhead.