Uganda

Historically speaking:  Uganda, a landlocked East African nation a bit larger than the state of Michigan, has Lake Victoria (the world’s largest fresh-water body and the source of the Nile River), rolling fields of coffee, and its capital of Kampala in the south; smaller lakes and the Rwenzori Mountains (the legendary “Mountains of the Moon”) in the west; and drier savannas populated by herders in the north and east. A former British colony that gained independence in 1962, Uganda overcame the dictatorship of Idi Amin and ethnic conflict to achieve relative stability and economic promise in coffee exports and its recent discovery of oil.

Our trip:  We've been lucky enough to visit Uganda twice now and both times were incredible.   We teamed up with the country's super star Eddy Kenzo and learned his hit song Sitya Loss.   Check out the original version below.  (Notice how many views this video has.  It's hugely popular.)

The first time we met Eddy was at a TV station we were about to do an interview on (NTV Uganda) and he stopped by because he's heard some guys from America learned his song.   With 10 minutes left before the show went live, we ran through it with him and he said "Let's do this!"   Below is the actual broadcast from NTV Uganda.

Finally, if you want to hear the Prowlers play AND sing the song (this one was tough to get the words down!), you can check this video below.  If you read some of the comments on the following video, you can get a real sense as to why going the extra mile to learn how to sing these songs means so much to people.    

Pictures really don't do justice to how gorgeous this country is.  The rolling hills and vegetation make you feel like you're in a jungle that just happens to have a city in running through it.  It's hard to stop looking out the window when you're driving around.

 We had some run-ins with birds on this trip.  This is the Marabou Stork that we caught a close up of on our way out of the NTV studios.   

We had some run-ins with birds on this trip.  This is the Marabou Stork that we caught a close up of on our way out of the NTV studios.   

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Here's a quick video about these imposing birds that hang out at the top of trees throughout the city.  You might not call them beautiful, but they're certainly majestic.  

 

 

 

And of course, here's the video (on the left) that went viral of our run in with a Shoe Bill.   A clip of this video was viewed online more than 15 million times thanks to Reddit!   

 

 

Here's Todd on the left dancing with these incredible traditional artists in Kampala.  In the video above you can see some of the reception we were given when we visited a neghborhood in Kampala.   The folks here insist that we called it the Ghetto and were proud of where they lived.

Did you know that there's an all country music radio station in Uganda called BobFM?   You can stream it during the day here!  (Just keep in mind that they're eight hours ahead of us.)   There's a burgeoning country scene across the region and as you might imagine, bluegrass goes over quite well there.  We were able to visit Bob FM with Ambassador Deborah Malac and we caught a quick video from inside the studio before we started playing.  

If you want to know more about country music in Uganda, there's a great BBC article we whole-heartedly recommend here.