We've been in Uganda for two weeks now, and what a beautiful place it is. This weekend we truly learned why Uganda is called the Pearl of Africa! We all took a trip together to Sipi Falls in Eastern Uganda and had an incredible time. Andrew, the technical advisor to the High Court in Kampala and the project manager on the Ugandan side for the Global Justice Project, helped us coordinate a perfect weekend and to keep our costs down. We left for Mbale on Friday and spent the night at the same hotel where our friend Megan from Baylor stays (she is working at the High Court in Mbale) called Marple Cottages. If you ever go to Mbale, you must stay here! The staff was so warm and friendly; they fed us all of our meals throughout the weekend and hosted a traditional Ugandan performance with singing and dancing for us on Saturday evening that was absolutely amazing.
On Saturday morning, we traveled about an hour by bus to Sipi Falls, and I was in awe at the waterfalls there. I have never seen such powerful and beautiful waterfalls before; they are truly breathtaking. We relished in the opportunity to spend time hiking in fresh air, and some of our group even went waterfall rappelling down a 100-meter cliff!! We also got to learn about the coffee that they grow and produce in Sipi Falls, drink a few cups ourselves, and buy several bags to take home. To say it was an amazing day is actually an understatement. One of my favorite memories from the trip was our send-off by our guide Tom. He is a local in Sipi Falls and spent the entire day with us touring and teaching us about the falls and the coffee. When he sent us off back to Mbale, he thanked us several times for spending our day with him and told us he wished we could stay longer with him. It really touched me because it was his job to spend time with us, yet he was telling us all throughout the day how happy he was to be able to spend time with us and to show us around his home. The people of Uganda continue to show me that despite the gorgeous scenery, they are the true pearls in Africa. Their welcoming spirits and hospitality are unlike anything I've ever experienced from another group of people. And despite the many challenges they face on a daily basis, their spirits are so bright and positive.