I travelled to Lake Bunyonyi for the first time with a very religious girlfriend of mine with whom I had attended Trinity College Nabbingo girl’s Catholic school. She was born and raised in Kabale district in western Uganda but after school she remained in Kampala where the pastures are seemingly greener. She dedicated much of her free time to helping children and volunteering with non profit organizations. It was years later when we re united and she was planning to go and work with Byona Amagara a non-profit in Lake Bunyonyi that benefits education of the less privileged children.
A ten hours bus ride from Kampala would get us to Lake Bunyonyi at night fall while a matatu would get us there an hour or so earlier. We decided to take our chance on the bus, besides it was bigger and we had better chances of resting our heads on the bus seats than we would in the matatus that have smaller seats.
We left her home in Bugolobi as early as 5:30 a.m. and headed to the Bus Park. At the bus park we purchased our return tickets with a 4 days return date. We left very early the next morning for Lake Bunyonyi. The bus was completely filled with no empty seats but was still surprisingly comfortable. As soon at it clocked 7:00 am the conductor began screaming at every one to get seated because he was leaving in 5 minutes with or without the passengers ( I was amazed at the punctuality): Matovu the driver was a rather quiet man and he spoke no less than fifty words the whole trip, his concentration on the road as he speed on with no speed limit in mind. The passengers mostly business women and men engaged in more business conversations while others talked of personal difficulties and we had about three foreigners who had decided to brave the bus trip under the recommendation of their friends who had previously used the bus.
On arrival in Bunyonyi town, we were welcomed by the members of Byona Amagara and taken across to the island where we would be for 4 days. The island is extremely natural and by natural I mean no power (electricity), not flashing toilets, and no running water (well who needs running water when the lake provides it at no expense?). The night sky was dark, no moon and no stars; from a distance a few lights flickered to indicate life. I ended up learning so much about giving and not expecting anything back in return. The island is so beautiful, great getaway, if only the access was not as limited.