Travelblog East Africa Part 2 - Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania

I would round out the rest of my summer vacation with going to the three of the other four countries around Lake Victoria. Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania. Thus completing my tour of Wakanda. Each one of these countries I only spent about two days in, but each one was distinct for a variety of reasons. As such, each one won’t get their own post but they will get their own spotlight.

Rwanda

I had a wonderful tour here even though my fever sickness starts here, I had very kind hosts (with no internet) and had a wonderful tour that explored how modernized Kigali is becoming as it has some of the best urban development I’ve ever seen. People are moved from their old homes for a little then come back with brand new modern homes. Also on the tour I had an assortment of food and fruit, a fresh milk bar - which tasted far better than American milk, Muslim schools and the highlight the Genocide Museum. The museum was huge on getting rid of what most people know Rwanda for as it moved based the Tutsi/Hutu issues and into everyone being called Rwandans. This is rare in that they were the only East Africans who weren’t prideful about their tribe over their nation.

On another note, a lot of people could tell I was mixed and they found it fascinating. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so many stares in my life. My tour guide told me that mixed people were seen as gorgeous so don’t be surprised if women flirt. Granted we all know me and my tour guide, who’s skin was midnight, was far more beautiful to me than my skin tone. Lastly, my tour guide driver had a personality and spoke to me in english and French to show me one of the presidential homes that had an airplane crash into it. Kigali, Rwanda was beautiful and one of my favorites of East Africa

Uganda

I would argue that my best hosts were in Uganda. While my sickness got to the point where I decided to cut my time in Tanzania short - unfortunately no Zanzibar, someday - I had great hosts who I was able to watch the Croatia versus Russia game with for the World Cup, drink Ugandan beer and enjoy a homecooked meal. My tour guide in Kampala, land of seven hills, drove me on a motorbike tour with amazing skills. I don’t think I can emphasize enough how bad the traffic in Kampala is and the skills of motorbike drivers is unmatched. He was a kind guy and I got to learn a lot on the tour. Instead of going out anywhere I simply stayed in and hung with my Serbian and Uganda hosts who talked to me about have mixed children which was a long and enlightening conversation about how they’ll navigate biracial life in Uganda.

One odd vision I saw was China’s influence on contracting their own people for their highways while cutting out the Ugandan contractors and performing neo-colonization while putting the country in debt again.

Tanzania

I truly wish I had more time in this country. It was beautiful and similar to Kenya in that it had Black people of all levels handling everything. One aspect that was interesting was how bad the traffic in and out of the airport was. Outside of that main road the traffic wasn’t like Uganda. However, there were a lot of cool experiences to be had in Dar es Salaam and I was so close to Zanzibar, but being sick had me go home soon, so maybe some other day in my future. The first evening I tried to figure out the spotty internet but wonderful AC and had myself some fish and rice where they once again thought I was Tanzanian and knew Swahili. This was hilarious because the lady serving me didn’t know english - I live for these moments! Anyways, afterwards I headed to a local bar and watched two African football teams duke it out. It was great to just be around an atmosphere of happy African men and women.

The main highlight though was roaming around with my main man Meck on a tour that started at Dar es Salaam harbor and Barack Obama Rd(2nd East African country that’s honoring him). We went to the fish market, several government homes, huge supermarkets, a variety of churches, mosques, spice markets, and some different foods (jackfruit, sugarcane water, fries in an omelette). Meck was a great tour guide and Tanzania was gorgeous but soon my East Africa journey was ending.

I hope I can return someday, especially for Zanzibar, but West Africa is next on the horizon.

Travelblog - East Africa Part 1 Kenya

Asante for reading as this is the first part of my journey into East Africa and the wonders that I discovered there.

I have to say that there were so many moments that I had while visiting in Kenya that I felt like I was in real life Wakanda. From the fact that everybody walking around in any social class was Black to the lack of racial differentiation because we all knew we were African. I had a great time exploring the wild Nairobi nightlife (yes I enjoyed myself but East African women are not as tall as West African women so there’s that) and a variety of excursions. Yes I did the typical safari in the Serengheti as Nairobi National Park is a reserve right outside of the main city and I got to see almost four of the big five (no leopards but came close to seeing a rhino and saw an elephant, buffalo, and lion among other animals). I also got to see some traditional villages and dances at a place called Bomas. I also enjoyed plenty of Tusker beer and grilled meat straight from the bone which was all reasonably priced unlike the souvenirs and clothes.

Interacting with people in Nairobi was a great experience because on my first day I had a set of tour guides also known as the Nairobeez who rap in english, Swahili and sheng, the slang of Kenya. It was a really great feeling to roll with a set of Black dudes and just kick it and explore. It’s an experience I rarely have in the US because so many of our men are awful and I don’t vibe with them. I also flirted with several different women as I learned Swahili from them and was happy that any women I met there would be African of a whole variety of shades. Sadly they were all short including my awesome airbnb host - how to stay in Africa - who hooked it up with drivers too. As this was my fourth time in Africa, I definitely learned that you need to have drivers to help you since there isn’t much public transportation that is legitimate there outside of the wild busing system in many countries.


When I went to Mombasa, it was similar but I got to see the beach and the Arab trading town on the coast of the Indian Ocean. This worked out since I couldn’t make it to Zanzibar due to getting sick but such is life. I got a driver, Bilal, there too who hooked it up with a wood carving spot - amazing to see authentic wood carving and eat some cassava crisps while bumping classic hip-hop.

On some interesting cultural notes, all of the African men loved hip-hop they were curious about producing it, what to listen to and learning about the history of it. At the same time The World Cup was happening so it was interesting to see how people cheered against England the original colonizers of their lands and cheered for France due to all the Africans on the team.

It was a deep feeling of gratitude that I had in Kenya due to how amazing it was. I hate that I got sick during my time there, but basically seeing Wakanda live without white people anywhere was absolutely fantastic and something I sorely missed when coming back to the US.

Americanah - A review and some thougts

Americanah is the story of Ifemelu and Obinze, two Nigerians in how they navigate the modernization of their own country while experiencing diasporas in the most Western worlds of England and America. While it is far more depth in Ifemelu's time in America, it highlights a great deal of Nigeria, England and the spaces in between frequently. To extrapolate on each: the American segment deals primarily with Ifemelu's comprehension of Blackness versus African in America. Obinze's time in England serves to express the world of the expat in general. Meanwhile, all the Nigeria segments both showcase and critique the increasing Westernization of one of the most modern countries in the world. 

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