You sure have heard about Uganda, its monkeys and the lush and beautiful nature, but what more? It is a bit unknown to many. In this interview we will meet a woman who lives in this beautiful country and she tells about both the beauty and the challenges. After this interesting reading, you may even put a trip to the country on your bucket list.
Name: Nanyonga Milly Kawumi
Occupation: School director
Family: Ten children
Lives in: Kampala, Uganda, East Africa
You are living in a beautiful country, but not well known to many. How is it to be a middle aged woman in Uganda?
Uganda is the pearl of Africa, it's not known much because it's a landlocked country found in East Africa, due to the fact that Uganda is still a developmental country. People are not yet exposed to use technology to sell our country abroad.
Then people here in middle age are the most people who faces most challenges, because they pay school fees, look after their families, still yet most of them are unemployed.
Things are happening faster than ever, and with all modern techinic especially young people live a very different life compared to earlier generations. Does it make them more equal you think?
No it doesn't, things have changed with new technology. The older generation used to put in more efforts to get things done, which made them more hardworking than the current generation, which is spoonfed by the modern technology, which gets most of the things done almost automatically. I think that has made younger women and men a bit comfortable.
Your country has many international tourist, what is it that attracts them and from where do they come?
The people in my country are very welcoming people, they feel happy to see people from different countries. Also being the fact that Uganda is made of different tribes. We have 54 ones and people are used to share with others.
We have got a very beautiful green environment that attracts tourists to come here to see. Here we have an equatorial climate with equatorial forests with different tree spices which attracts tourists to do study tours in these forests. They learn about different herbs, waters etc.
We are also gifted with wildlife animals, for example many tourists come here to study about gorillas, chimpanzee and other wildlife animals. Kibale National Park has the biggest population of chimps on earth and is the best place to observe them. Primates are so amazing that we often forget about some of the other incredible wildlife that lives here.
However, I was thrilled to see herds of water buffalo in Queen Elizabeth National Park and watch hippos and elephants playing in the water of the Kazinga Channel. I took hundreds of photos of colourful birds, lazy crocodiles and elegant antelopes. If you are luckier than I was, you could even spot the famous tree climbing lions in Ishasha and if you are outrageously lucky the even more elusive leopard!
Here are many water bodies and falls, for example Murchison falls, Sipi falls, Ssezibwa falls, and we also share the biggest lake in Africa which is lake Victoria. Many tourist come to see this, the water element is prevalent in the landscape which even features the source of the mighty Nile. Apart from allowing the lush vegetation to survive, this precious element adds to the beauty of the scenery, makes the activities on offer varied and exciting and is the habitat for many species that otherwise wouldn't be able to survive.
Some tourists come as students who is here for internships in different fields, examples the teachers, doctors and others, during their stay here. It's referred to as Edu-tourism (educational tourism). They get time to tour different places like sources of river Nile, equator and game parks. So when these people go back to their countries, they tell friends about the beauty, according to what they saw, this also attracts many others to come.
Due to the fact that we have different tribes, we have got different cultures and norms. For example me I am a Muganda by tribe, and we have got our local foods that we eat like matook and lumonde. We also have unique dance called "Amazina amaganda" which means dance for baganda people. Tourist enjoys watching baganda dancers. On top of that, before the coming of colonists Uganda was under the rule of the kingdoms; we had kings as heads of the kingdoms. Our people had their religion called "kusamira", and some people still practicing it. So all this attracts tourists to come here for adventures.
I conclude that, despite the fact that we still faces many challenges, our people are lovely and welcoming, so I encourage both tourists and volunteers to come to visit our country, enjoy our local foods, visit different game parks and also participate in voluntary work, like working in schools, hospitals etc.
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