East or West 

Home is best.

On my way home from Soroti, chasing the sunset in the west, I couldn’t help but feel sombre. A two day road trip had left me feeling like I had been on a vacation for a whole week. We kept on musing on the drive back at how this trip had been an amazing one, and when you have a group of friends like I do, then every moment is zen. It was one of those drives that get you thinking, that take you deep into thought, gazing at the red lights in front wishing you’d be headed back. We laughed, we danced, we celebrated, and we made it back home.

But where is home? Uganda, right. I am from somewhere deep within the western regions, from a not so tiny village! I also have a little place I rent, deep within Kisaasi. So where is home?

Last week Monday, a friend and I were discussing how we can be from this lovely country and still not have visited most parts of it. She had invited me over to her village, to see how amazing their pork was. So yes, this trip was mostly about going to eat pork from the Eastern region. We had planned out our trip on the premise of going for a kwanjula. Her cousin was going to pick his wife from their family home. Seeing as everyone was going and it would be a fun packed place to be, we decided to leave, setting off at 4:00am on a rainy Saturday morning heading east. As we approached Jinja, the specks of light streaming through the sky, we stopped over for what they claimed were the best chicken samosas in Uganda at a petrol station I now forget, right after the dam to your right. We then continued on our way, chasing the sunrise to Iganga before we stopped over for breakfast in Mbale.

I dare say, with heavy contentment that the chapatti I ate in Mbale was wonderous as my uncle usually exclaims. Thick, and heavy is an understatement. Mbale on a warm sunny Saturday is quite the architectural marvel. The grid and ordering system are just beautiful. The onset of the Mountain Elgon is just the icing on the top. After breakfast, we continued east towards Kumi, and then Soroti where Television – the last town preceding the entry into Soroti, welcomed us with a selfie moment.

Soroti looks amazing. Didn’t feel like I was away from home in the west. The village lifestyle is one I now aspire to. The calmness and ease with which people move is peace of mind evoking. 

When you go to Soroti, stay at a place called Strikers. Trust me, it is worth your while! The service is great. Do take time and go to the pork joint called Pamba and ask for malwa, and don’t forget to say ‘Eyalama’ because that’s how courteous these people are. If you want a night out on the town, Trendz is the place to be, and a little further down, Strikers bar is also another place you can check out. Go with friends too, it will be worth your while.

My journey back was pensive. It felt like I was on a vacation yet I had only been there a day. And as I write this, I can’t wait to go back.


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