Monday, 7 December 2015

Post-Apocalyptic Indiana Jones: A Trip to the Uganda Museum

After a very hectic, but amazing two weeks travelling across the country for work – for which I have told you not, and for which I have yet to even process enough to tell you! – Aaron and I resumed our adventures touring around Kampala. This weekend we decided to pay a visit to the Uganda Museum, which is basically the National museum.

The main building
Photo Credit: Visit Uganda
The cultural village, found behind the main building
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
We took bodas, and arrived just before noon. It seemed like no one was there, and were concerned that it was closed on Sundays. Thankfully though, we realized we’d just entered the wrong entrance point.

There were multiple exhibits to browse through. We started with “Ancient History” section, which focused on the first humans. This was when we realized that we were essentially in the same place where the oldest documented human was discovered (Africa!), reading about the first humans! There was also a really creepy display of tools, featuring a series of sets of hands, which I convinced myself were actual hands of people standing patiently behind the wall. This creeped me out significantly, so I moved along fairly quickly!

Next we moved on to the Ethnography exhibit, which consisted of natural history, early life in Uganda, and various tools, materials, etc. This, I felt, was actually quite interesting. Not so much the natural history part, but seeing the various tools, materials for clothing, baskets, and such. As we walked throughout this area, a lady was playing a few of the musical instruments on display – it was really cool. What wasn’t cool, was the (not so) subtle feeling like we were living our final moments*.

Picture this, we walk into a very lime green room filled with cases that discuss ‘natural history.’ No big deal, right? But then, I make the mistake of turning around, only to be greeted by this:

Sure, it’s a little ominous, but not that terrifying, right? Did you notice this? Creepy, eh?!

But, this wasn’t even the most terrifying part. No, the most terrifying part came only moments later after making a terrible leaf pun** that I’m fairly certain Aaron didn’t even hear. 

In the corner of the room was a sign that simply said: Dioramas ->. Of course, we both wanted to see what this meant. So we took the few steps to the next level down as Aaron casually remarked, “This is like something you would find after the apocalypse.” I’m can’t actually recall if he specifically described it as a zombie apocalypse or if I inserted that in this moment, but anyway, when we got to the bottom of the stairs and found ourselves in the basement of this museum, in the dark, that’s pretty much how I felt. I was awaiting the attack of some quietly hidden zombie, tucked away in anticipation of a nibble or two from our brains, arms, or other potentially desirable human parts.

Aaron, at this point was searching for the flashlight (that’s a torch for all of you non-North American folk reading this!) on his phone so he could get a better look. I, on the other hand, hadn’t yet left the last stair. I honestly was frightened. The rational part of me*** knew there were no zombies, but the irrational part of me was convinced that something was going to jump out and scare us, kind of like one of those Halloween-esque haunted houses. As I worked up the courage to wander along side Aaron, he discovered another staircase, which he declared he had to check out, while I wussily chased after him threatening that he’d better not think about leave me down there! He did… so I retreated to the staircase we’d taken down****. It turns out that the other staircase led nowhere.

Anyway, it was actually a really good experience, and I would recommend a visit, should you find yourself in Kampala. There were some really interesting exhibits, including what could very well have been the first bong, flip-flops, and even a “penis in case” and a “testicle in case.” Not really sure how to describe those last two!

Afterwards, we grabbed some lunch, indulged in a tasty gelato, and picked up a few movies! Between this and returning to Kampala to learn that hot water had been reinstated in our flat, it made for a great way to end a nice, quiet weekend! Not gonna lie, having a hot shower for the first time in nearly two months was so nice. I'm pretty sure I even cried a little!

-the Orange Canadian

*Exaggerated for dramatic effect.
** There was a glass case in the middle of the room filled with some dried leaves.
*** I know, it’s hard to think of me having a rational side at this point!

**** Hmmm… I’m listening to tunes as I write this, and the Ghostbuster theme has come on. Weird. And yes, I have the Ghostbusters theme song in my playlist – don’t judge, it’s awesome!

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