Busia Uganda, volunteering with YES

Busia is a small town divided in two by the border between Kenya and Uganda. I arrived on the Kenyan side – and Denis was there to meet me and we walked to Uganda. I met Denis in a course in sustainable sanitation in Oslo last summer, and it was very nice to see him again after all these months!

Busia is hot and very dusty. I tried to find some info about it in my guidebook, but I didnt really find much. If I didnt know anyone there I dont think it would ever occur to me to stop over for even a night. The city center is long, and only along this road. There is a lot of big trucks, and almost more bicycles than people – just like in Kisumu! I visited the organisation YES – Youth Environmental Service. Denis used to work for the local red cross, but then branched off and started his NGO with Amos. They have a lot of different activities which include volunteering from local youths – and among them also sanitation and they work with a local group which is training people in growing vegetables in small plots, nutrition and hygiene (all though hygiene is almost non-excisting if you compare it to what Im used to). I had a very nice week with the people in YES, and got to see a lot of the surroundings of the city and meet people who they work with.

I also had a very nice trip to the villages outside Busia. Denis and I squeezed on to a motorbike which took us to the villages. We just passes by his biological family to say hi – and eat off course, you are never allowed to leave an african home without eating anything! Then we moved on to a family which he lived with when he got educated. They were all very nice, but not all people speak english, and especially not the women in the rural areas. We spent one night at the last village, and the next day we had a walk around the area, and also visited a beach of Lake Victoria before we reurned to Busia. There are a lot of nice beaches around the lake, the bad thing is that you shouldnt swim because of parasites in the water.

After five days in Busia I moved on to Kampala. In the matatu park there were no shouting and banging on the cars – very different from Kenya! They even didnt drag you and your luggage in different directions to get you into a car. What they did was filling all possible space with shoes and goods from kenya – then luggage were squeezed in, and finally the people. As usual – not much space to move!

About the Author Elin

I´m an Oslo based web publisher with passion for communication, travel and a green lifestyle. When I travel, I prefer to go slow, sustainable, and “live like a local”. Why slow? It is about challenging the cult of speed, and to enjoy the small things in life and to live in the present.

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