Erin and Jim spent the morning riding in a hired car from Buseesa. They phoned us on their way into the city, and we rendezvoused at the Garden City Mall for lunch. From there, we did some tourist shopping at the Craft World market, and returned to the Mpala school to freshen up and rest. Our plans are to eat dinner at the Phase 3 restaurant on the way to the airport tonight, and check in around 9 pm. With the exception of Erin, who is staying an extra week for personal travel, we should be home safe and sound Sunday afternoon!
Muganzi had proposed to meet Ed and Jim at 6 am today to drive to the Nakasero Market district and get prices and availability of Kampala hardware. That was early enough to catch a beautiful sunrise over the hazy hills and sight some unique tropical birds here along the north shore of Lake Victoria. Muganzi had traveled in from Hoima by bus, a 3-hour journey, and was to return the same way later today.The market district was a very very busy place, packed with people milling about between the stalls and shops that overflowed out onto the sidewalks. Pedestrians get displaced from the walks onto the road, but the road is still open territory for piki pikis, cars, and trucks, which remain jammed behind vehicles waiting for parking spaces. It is truly everyone-for-themselves if you want to have a chance of moving through the crowds and getting anything done! Fortunately we met up with Patrick, a friendly giant of a man who often did shopping for the Sisters when they needed items from the markets. He was known and respected everywhere we went, and we had a comfortable spot under his wing. After getting prices on every component of the biogas digester (basically a large plumbing and masonry project with a fence around it and a roof overhead), Patrick invited us for a brisk walk through the labyrinth of the inner produce market. We passed vendors selling roasted grasshoppers, freshly cut meat and fish, sweet fruit, aromatic spices, and mounds of vegetables. There were also some strong pungent odors and a bit of a biofilm on the ground wherever we went. Mere footpaths wound between produce bins and vendors lounging on the ground. Patrick helped us negotiate for a bag each of vanilla beans and cinnamon bark, for $7, and bought us each a fresh mango. We were grateful for his help, and he enjoyed helping us and the Sisters on this errand.