So, I was back in Jinja for seven nights. I can’t decide if Jinja is a rafting town with a drinking problem or a drinking town with a rafting problem. I laugh to myself when I think back at the fact that I thought Jinja was a quiet town and I wouldn’t be doing much except working. I couldn’t be more wrong…
I arrived at the tail end of the afternoon, so I settled in to Jinja Backpackers (more on them later) and headed down to the Mezzanine restaurant to enjoy a drink in front of the Nile (as you read and saw in this previous post). I kept seeing the prettiest Malachite Kingfishers perch on a nearby branch.
But I can never sit by myself for too long, even though I try. Sitting at the table next to me were some Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine entomologists who happened to recognize me from Kampala. Small world. I tagged along their dinner to Gately on the Nile restaurant, which was delicious and only slightly overpriced. That evening, I just went to bed early, as I was to meet up with CE the next morning.
A stop in Jinja isn’t complete without going to Flavours, the 1000 Cups of Jinja. Great coffee, good food and free WiFi makes this place a hit with muzungus. I’m not sure if it’s the travelling mentality or if it’s something else, but everyone is very friendly here. One girl brought a kitten to the shop and we formed a friendship over it, and the lady selling Bbrood bread in the corner (she sells bread there every Tuesday and Friday, but they’re based in Kampala). Cutest kitten and most delicious bread!
CE and I got together and went to her clinic, where she showed me around and introduced me to the staff. I’ll write more on her study later.
After a coffee stop at Space Café (WiFi at coffee shops is a must), CE dropped me off at home. I was going to read some papers and relax, but I met two other girls staying at the hostel (FI and FB). Not having anything to do on a Friday night, I invited myself along to their potluck dinner. As you do. Turns out the party was at a house IN the Nile Brewery, because it was the Project Manager of Nile Special that was putting it on. What.
It was a BBQ potluck with lots of meat (there were quite a lot of men, but that’s not what I’m talking about). I hadn’t had proper beef since moving away from Alberta, so I was eager to have some. One thing I miss about home is good steak!
The PM took us on a private tour into the brewery (briefly) and to the top of the silos, where we could see Jinja at night:
We partied with a bunch of raft guides, who LOVE to drink. It must be the tourism industry: raft in the day, drink at night. No work? Drink until there is work. So we drank aaaaaalllllll night. I didn’t get home until 630am, when I had to jump the chain link fence to be able to get back in because the guard wasn’t there. I think my wound is infected, but that’s a story for another day.
Oh Jinja, you had me at hello.