Which reminds me – I picked up The Sugar Barons on the most recent Tantor Audio Book sale. For $4.99 I can listen to non-fiction and learn something about the sugar trade and the Caribbean from the 1650s on ward.
We left Jinja at a relatively early time in order to avoid traffic, if that might ever be even remotely possible. The field trip this morning (starting to feel like a happy elementary school child without the burden of parent chaperone. Kakira is one of the major sugar producers in the country. Not only do they have plantations and factories – they have an incredibly huge compound with all the amenities of your average overseas military post.
Besides the headquarters and administrative areas there are shops, post office, barber shop, schools, clinic and hospital. Extensive housing is on the ground for workers of a certain level. Housing is also supplied for the contract workers: cane cutters, truck drivers. Given the geographical location in the world (see today’s subject line) growing and harvesting sugar is a year around proposition. Unlike a long time ago when I lived in the neighborhood of Crystal Sugar which ran shifts around the clock for the few weeks after harvest of the sugar beets.
Since I mentioned cane cutters – you have probably already figured that the cane is cut by hand, loaded into the trucks by hand and, for that matter, sorted off the trucks by application of significant amounts of human labor. It is a good job in a country where employment is difficult to find, especially that which includes the provision of free medical care. The downside for the cane cutters – besides the risk of injury is living in extremely crowded barrack type situations away from their families for extended periods of time.
And then we got on the bus to start our 320 km trip to Mbarara. Not that the traffic was horrible or the roads a challenge. Our driver said we did well to make it back to the North Kampala by-pass in about three hours (100km).
Once past Kampala our pace picked up and the traffic decreased.
Our rest stop was at the equator (see photo) and consider this probably the only pix of me that you will see for this trip. My partner in crime is Canadian. In fact, I am not sure that I mentioned it – but we have four Germans (usually living in Germany), one Canadian and me living in Germany, one Ugandan living in the Caribbean for greater than 30 years and a Canadian living and working in Hong Kong.
Apparently end of the month is low economy for the Police; I counted over 25 radar stops along the way. Usually located about .5 km out from town or a few hundred meters after where everyone is hitting the accelerator it seemed at least that they were not interfering with commerce. I missed catching the fish and fish standards but there were plenty of opportunities for anyone to buy vegetables, chick-on-a-stick, catch a Boda or buy any number of things in town.
Just curious: any good mangoes? More importantly, thank you for the vicarious sightseeing. Love the equator marker.
Mangoes? Yes, also papaya, pineapple, bananas, oranges…