This fall, as we ask you to seek the unfamiliar, it’s only fair that we ask the same of ourselves, both in the U.S. and in Uganda. For Josephine, this meant overcoming her fear of the water in exchange for an exhilarating new experience: a Uganda boat trip on Lake Victoria!
Despite the fact that Uganda is a land full of water, from the mighty Nile to Lake Victoria to the smooth, calm pools of mountain craters- most Ugandans don’t know how to swim. Two years ago, when Josephine heard of a few American visitors spending the day touring Lake Victoria in a wooden fishing boat, she shook her head in amusement at the risk. When pressed, though, she admitted that she’d like to try it one day- as long as there were a life jacket. Recently, she got her chance- along with several other adventurous Sseko ladies who decided to head out onto the water (for the first time in their lives) for a boat trip on Lake Victoria.
As we set off from the shore, the women clung tightly to the sides of the boat and their life jacketed children, but after a few minutes on the calm water of the small bay, they relaxed into the easy motions of the water. They started to laugh and joke, and even pulled out their camera phones to document the new experience as we toured the shoreline and went around a small island in the middle of the water.
Eva’s children Juliana and Junior, and Allen’s daughter Shiraz sat in the back with the driver; Junior even took a turn steering the boat. We saw plants, fishing boats, birds, enormous beach-front mansions, and even a floating island made from plant debris and grasses, grown big enough to hold matooke plantain trees.
Josephine clearly felt more relaxed as the day went on; she, Sylvia and Robinah even got up the nerve to climb into the bow of the boat and take turns posing for a few pictures.
Fresh caught Nile Perch and tilapia from the lake are specialties in that area of town, so to wrap up the day, we headed to the Ggaba market stalls to have some fried fish and chips.
Robinah’s daughters kept everyone entertained, with Promise expressing her opinion on being asked to “smile” for photos and Blessing showing off her new shades.
Over food and sodas, we asked Josephine about her thoughts on the day. She confessed that, “It wasn’t so so bad. In fact, I even enjoyed it so much!” Whether it’s learning to cook a new dish, making a new friend, or hopping in the car to search for the great unknown, remember that trying something new is often worth the effort.