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A Life Changing Medical Elective: Part 3

Part three of Grace and Elena’s blog gives an insight into the social side of things in Uganda.

Throughout our recent trip to Jinja, we spent lots of time with our host family– they were amazing. Zai is the ‘lady’ of the house and cooks and cleans. Omar is her nephew and is at school, he helps Zai a lot. They taught us how to cook Ugandan dishes and we had a lot of fun with them. William owns the house, and he is a doctor. He is so lovely, and is keen to chat about medicine and ethics. We also met a few members of Zai’s family and everyone was lovely and very chatty.

Social - waterfall 2

When we weren’t in the house we did so much:

  • Safari with Red Chilli to Murchison Falls
  • Source of the Nile (do not eat at Rumours)
  • Golf Club (don’t bother!)
  • The Nile Village Hotel (great pool and cocktails and they give you a towel, 8000=/ to swim)
  • White water rafting with Adrift, which is also a bar which is nice to watch the sunset
  • Fundraiser with the street children, and we took Nicholas from Act4Africa
  • Eating out – there are so many great restaurants, especially The Sailing Club, Serjios (pizza), Moti Mahal (Indian food) and Two Friends/All Friends (really good cocktails and food)
  • Internet cafes – Source Café, Space café (our fave) and New Welcome (looks like a petrol station)
  • Black lantern – this is a restaurant on Nile Porch, so you need to get a boda-boda, but it’s worth it. There are wild monkeys and a really nice pool and you can see the Nile and it has incredible steaks.
  • Going to bars (but not recommended if you are on your own), beer is around 4000=/ which is equivalent to 80p
  • We went to two weddings with William which were so much fun!
  • Sipi Falls (bus to Mbale then taxi to Sipi, stayed at Crow’s Nest but there are nicer places)

social - whitewater rafting

Jinja is extremely safe, and if you get lost, anyone will help you find your way. Uganda people have a lot of respect for Mzungus (white people). Crime rates are low and there are always plenty of people around so you feel safe.


Phrases to know

  • Mutatu – taxi bus
  • Boda-boda – the bikes you use to get around, pay the guy (agree a price before you go) and he’ll take you anywhere
  • =/ is the currency sign, shillings
  • Matoke (mashed banana)
  • Posho (cornflour made into paste, also food)
  • Chapatti – we LIVED off this, it is heaven
  • Rolex – chapatti with omelette rolled into it, this is also really yummy and so cheap!
  • Mzungu – a white person

Social - Nile beer - scenic