Of changes at KQ and humble Ugandans
SEE ALSO :Man sues KQ for missing flight“Dirty toilets are a sign of laziness,” she would tell me. I now understand the wisdom of that advice. And true to its nature, our flight had delayed yet again. But then, rather than leave us to stare at the rolling screens giving updates on the flights, Kenya Airways staff gave us regular updates on the status of our flight. Previously, life went on for them even as passengers agonised. When our flight came half an hour later, it was great relief for the passengers. And the anger wasn’t as loud as before. I haven’t been to Uganda, but arriving at the Entebbe International Airport on the other side, made me feel as though I had arrived at Nairobi’s Wilson Airport. The airport was underwhelming. I puffed with great pride at what I had left back at JKIA even if it looked as though I was in awe of the shortest of dwarfs. Despite all the hullabaloo about the economy facing challenges, compared to the neighbouring countries, Kenya by far still is an economic power house. We were whisked into our hotel before I could sample what Uganda had to offer.
SEE ALSO :Is KQ headed for divorce with KLM?Look at the language our leaders use when they are talking about each other, what we get are mostly insults and vulgar language. Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has been roundly condemned for not using moderated language while responding to critics; asking him to take responsibility over the death of 10 rhinos at Tsavo East National Park. On the downside, I missed feeling like an East African. In Entebbe, regional integration has a long way to go. The requirement for Kenyans to have a yellow fever certificate showed that we are not yet really bonded. It cost me $40 to purchase a yellow fever card. It is mandatory for one to take yellow fever certificate at least 10 days before travelling. For uninformed passengers, paying unbudgeted Sh4,500 or risking deportation is not cheap. This looked more like charging for an entry visa. Anyway, that is of course a small inconvenience compared to the good and warm reception by the people of Uganda. Of course, Uganda has many good things. In all the streets of Kampala, vegetables and staple foods are sold in the open market. There is sufficient and affordable food for sale on the stalls everywhere you turned. Could that be the reason most Ugandans appear rotund? I don’t know. But while I am here, I will enjoy the nice fresh food and soak up the humility of the Ugandan people. It is worth my visit. Mr Guleid is a governance consultant and the chairman, FCDC Secretariat; [email protected]
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