Last weekend, we traveled with the local frisbee team to a tournament in Entebbe, Uganda! We got to play against teams from Kenya and Uganda and cheer on a showcase game between top players from both countries. The weekend started at the Kigali bus station in Nyabugogo (pronounced “nobbue-go-go”) where we met up with the team Thursday night to catch our overnight bus to Kampala, Uganda. The 8-hour trip costs only $15, but it’s hot, you won’t get any rest as the roads are extremely bumpy and, about halfway through the trip, you have to get off the bus to cross the border. Crossing between Rwanda and Uganda on bus is an adventure of its own and involves walking around 1,000 feet down a dark dirt road from Rwandan immigration, where you received an exit stamp, to the Ugandan immigration, where they issue an entry visa, because, for whatever reason, you aren’t allowed to cross the border on the bus.
Upon arriving in Kampala at 6am, we stop by a little restaurant at the bus station for a team breakfast. A couple of the Rwandan team members order steaming bowls of rice and beans, while the rest of us order delicious African tea (super gingery black tea with lots of milk) and mandazi (sweet fried dough). We got on another bus to Entebbe and arrive at our zoo lodging a couple hours later. It was a zoo lodging not because it was a party or there were crazy people there (though there was a large school trip staying next door), but because the dorm was literally inside the Entebbe zoo. So after arriving at around 10am, we took a tour, checking out the rhinos, camel, chimpanzees, lions, hyenas, crocodiles, and terrifying snakes just a 2 minute walk from our bedrooms. It was great!
Later in the afternoon, we walked down to a beach on Lake Victoria. It wasn’t any ordinary beach though and the entrance looked like something out of Mad Max.
Inside the beach area was a huge, inexplicable plane graveyard, with old planes scattered everywhere, that you could climb on or just admire the graffiti artwork. The beachfront was also great with loud dance music blaring, a couple bars, and beach volleyball. We spent the whole afternoon there, swimming, drinking beer, and playing frisbee. After the beach, we went into downtown Entebbe for some incredible BBQ chicken from a street vendor for ~$2. One thing that Entebbe and Kampala has over Kigali is the street food and street vendors. Whereas in Kigali, you aren’t allowed to sell things on the street, street food is everywhere in Uganda and it’s cheap!
Saturday morning, we woke up bright and early for our 9am game. After finishing our first game, which happened to be against the best team in the tournament who destroyed us 1-13, the two teams got in a big circle (alternating players from each team) to show appreciation for the game and the other team. The spirit is awesome here and, even after a very competitive and close game, we always finished this way.
At ~2:30pm, we took a break for lunch. Unlike tournament food in the US, here we are served a full traditional Ugandan meal of potatoes, chapati, beef, rice, peanut sauce, and a ton of other food you would never want to eat between running a lot. Needless to say, the first game following lunch started out pretty slow, but eventually people got back into the game and we finished up the day with another win. Following the normal games, the top players from the Ugandan and Kenyan teams played a showcase game and everyone else drank and cheered on the sidelines. The tournament also provided Saturday dinner and an afterparty with a big dance party at the fields. People here know how to organize a good tournament!
Sunday was another 3 games, which went well except half our team missed the 9am game because they were still eating breakfast so we had to play with no subs. At 4pm, we grabbed a bus back to Kampala and started the 10 hour commute back home.