We continue with the stories of travel to Uganda for free that we did in October 2012. That day we continued exploring the national park of Queen elizabeth.
As a general rule, when a safari in africa only the natural wonders of the country are visited. However, the safari we did with Red chilli It was a little different. That morning we woke up early to visit the nearby villages of Kienke and Kagando, located at the foot of the Rwenzori Mountains, accompanied by Joseph, a very campechano guide.
The town of Kienke is about twenty minutes from the camp where we stayed, in the direction of the Congo border. The main street of the town is the typical one we saw in other towns in Uganda: a main street with some low buildings, a grocery store, a mobile store and the occasional bar, nothing more. Joseph took us along a path that started from the main street and, little by little, we went into nature, where the locals had some cultivated plots.
Joseph was explaining to us the different types of crops that we were finding, such as coffee, bananas and aloe vera, which were mostly grown for own consumption. Between explanation and explanation, he was asking us questions about our countries and received some answers that seemed to surprise him quite a bit. In the countryside, we only saw women and children working the land.
We walked almost an hour until we reached a small house where a group of women was waiting for us. It was the association of women in the area, a place where they meet to discuss their problems and try to find solutions among all.
To welcome us, they sang some traditional songs, accompanied by dances. On the one hand, we felt a bit like the white man they receive with songs, but on the other, it was very exciting to hear those women sing songs about their problems and in their expressions that they were happy to be there singing and dancing.
After the musical welcome, we all sat in a circle to chat for a while. The women asked us many questions about our countries and customs. For example, a woman asked us if, when we got married, the husband had to pay a dowry to the bride's family. In rural Uganda, the future husband has to pay a certain number of goats and liters of beer to the bride's family, an amount that is negotiated with the girl's father.
They also asked us if the women of our country needed the husband's permission to do some things, since in their case, to access the women's association they had to have marital consent. Another question we were asked is if we had family planning. Uganda is one of the countries with the highest birth rate, where developing family planning is complicated. First of all for cultural reasons and, secondly, because most hospitals in rural areas are managed by Christian religious who do not allow the use of condoms.
Abuse was also something that especially worried them. They asked us if it was also in Spain and also asked us if there was polygamy too. For our part, we asked them why in the fields there were only women working and they told us that it was the obligation of the women to take care of the house, the children and to make the food, and that included cultivating the field. Instead, the man was in charge of leaving town to look for money.