Sunday, 14 July 2013

How far is too far on a boda?

"Taxi!" The stylish Tinka Teddy, about to get on a boda.

Yesterday I went to Kabalungi in Lwengo District for an AFRIPads school visit. I went on a matatu (minibus) taxi as it's the cheapest and quickest way of getting there from Kampala. A round trip of about 15,000 shillings and a five hour trip. 

But I could have, should have gone on a bodaboda, my good friend Tinka Teddy, who travelled all the way to nearby Masaka, about 100km outside the capital, on a motorbike just two days earlier. Coulda, shoulda, I thought when she briefly relayed to me her epic journey when I later saw her. I didn't think much more about it, but as I was sitting in the taxi park, meat-on-a-stick and various holograms of Jesus being shoved in my face, waiting for the vehicle to fill up (game of Stacks On, anyone?) I had one thought: how the hell could you go so far on a boda? Not one of those cross country bikes, but a boda. So I asked her about this:

I think the ride was great knowing that the driver was a careful one. That was my first time to ride on a boda (for) such a long distance.

Why did you go?

I was researching places to go to for interviews about people who make barkcloth, and Buddu in Masaka is a place known for that. I went to Butende, Masaka, Natita and Nkoli .

What was it like?

Riding at the back of the bodaman was so cool. Of course at first I wondered how safe it would be, wondered if the driver wont doze (off) on the road. But after we'd gone about 20kms all felt normal and so (I) concentrated on enjoying my ride.

But wasn't it a difficult journey?
Not at all, it was great.I mean the feeling (was great). Maybe when I first came up with the idea it scared me, but after a while I got used to it. To make it even better,t I went with a friend and so only spent 40,000 shillings. I would have spent 60,000 if I'd used a taxi or bus. And in less than one-and-a-half-hours I had reached where I  wanted to go. I moved to three locations, each distant form the other, still on that 40,000.

Would you do it again?
For sure. I saved a lot of money and time.

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