30 Day Travel Series: Is There Only One Kampala?

I knew we must have been asking ourselves the same thing. Are we in the right place?

There were wooden shacks with kerosene lanterns. The lanterns were dangling carefully from strings in the doorways or were sat upon stools in front of the shacks. Some shacks were selling bags of roasted nuts or bananas, one had a skinned goat for sale, a few were just there to sell cell phone airtime. There was no electricity. Every road but the main road from the airport was red dirt. Kids were running around, rolling tires and drawing shapes in the dirt. It looked like most of them were not wearing shoes.

We both sat in the back of the taxi. Julian looked over at me and I looked back. I knew we must have been asking ourselves the same thing. Are we in the right place? Is there anyway that this village out the window could be the capital city of Kampala? In my head I was sounding out the word Kampala over and over again, wondering if there was a possibility that the travel agent and I had a miscommunication when I booked our tickets to Uganda.

I watched Julian looking out the window. His Dad had been really worried about us coming to Uganda. He told Julian he shouldn’t go. I didn't want anything to happen to Julian as much as his Dad didn't; I didn’t want anything to happen to me, for that matter. I felt responsible for us. I had traveled a lot and I had reassured everyone that we'd be fine in Uganda. But in that moment looking out the window, seeing the blackness of the night, cars passing on both the left and the right, and the two of us seated in the back of an unmarked cab, unsure of where we were going or if we were even in the right city, I started to question my certainty.

"Kampala is the capital city, right?" I asked the driver. "Yes, madame," he said. "Okay great, so we would like to go to Kampala, to the capital city part," I said. "Yes madame, this is it."

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This is one of 30 untold stories of launching a global project (with my boyfriend, Julian) about love, story telling and connecting change makers.

Read all 30 days here: http://www.smithmag.net/community/people.php/HBOX

Throughout Vietnam, South Africa, and Uganda, we engaged with 650 everyday people working to make the world a better place to share their stories. Inevitably, there were parts of our adventures we couldn’t tell while on the road, because we were a start up trying to prove our merits as a serious social change project or because of nervous families monitoring our journey. But the truth is while we worked passionately to bring our dream project to life we also had an adventure of a lifetime. Here are the stories behind the stories of the Million Person Project: http://www.millionpersonproject.org.

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