Waking up to Kiyindi’s rural aura and splendid sunrise

The sunrise was scenic in Kiyindi. PHOTO/EDGAR R BATTE

What you need to know:

  • Many scenes. Silverfish and fishermen have been known to dominate Kiyindi landing site in Jinja.
  • However on this trip,  Edgar R. Batte discovers the other side to the landing site which boasts  other  hosts of activity as people go about their  business. 

Waking up to the sight of the sunrise was a good trade-off with the sweet sleep session as birds chirped. Sunrays made their way through the ventilator system.

Slowly and beautiful, the golden eye of the skies made its way out, colourfully shining onto busy bodies of happy fishermen returning from a fruitful catch after a night-long excursion of trawling Buvuma, on the northern section of Lake Victoria. It is an early morning hour but travellers are in a dash.

A grandmother encourages her grandson into quicker footsteps while a mother, with a baby strapped to her back, in a dash, joins the murram road that leads down the waiting area adjacent to the ferry’s docking point. 

Out there
I am no bird but I could have bragged to have caught the worm, only that I choose to be early for the sheer fascination of being in time to watch the clouds absorb the darkness and begin showing off their vibrant side, turning from the grey gloom to more shades of gold, brown and yellow.

From Kiyindi fishing village, hues subtly shine down onto a half invisible forested backdrop and further down, the lake all together giving off an effect of what looks like silver springs.  

Somewhere on God’s rich early morning canvas, are the fishermen on their boats that can be interpreted as half oval-like silhouettes. With patience, you can add life to this picturesque moment with flying black birds that add good contrast to the yellowing sunrise.   

As 7am approaches, the sun continues to bear its face and shines on earth and on faces of other early risers, some seated, others standing and holding their belongings.

A cup of tea
To keep the coldness at bay, a price has to be paid. And a female trader happily pours tea for travellers, Shs500 for a cup of dry tea while for African tea, the price doubles. 

Her daughter, barely in her teens, gives cups to customers while her mother serves. You would be a hard nut to crack if her humour, woven in her marketing skills, does not tickle you.  Her hilarious lines are her icebreakers and with a smile, it is easy for her to sell her hot beverages in a few minutes before the captain of the ferry honks the warning call for passengers to get ready to board.

Boarding
We line up as a woman in police attire registers the last passengers. To board, you have to present a national identity card and have ‘normal temperature’ (free of Covid-19).  

With a temperature gun in one hand, a tough-looking policeman mockingly smiles at a bodaboda rider who wants to take advantage of his business of checking passengers’ temperature to ride past him.

“Gwe (you)!” he shouts as he gestures at him to go back, adding that he is too early for the next ferry. The joke breaks the silence among commuters whose concentration has been taken up by need to hurry and get on the day’s maiden ferry. 

A host of people
As I learn later on, many are traders who work on Buvuma Island but have to return to their homes, and families on mainland. As we make our way onto the ferry, there is a noticeable reclamation of part of the lake to create a docking area for the ship due to the rise of water levels of Lake Victoria.

Birds go about their business in Kiyindi landing site in Jinja.PHOTO/EDGAR R BATTE

When we cross over to Buvuma, we see a water front section of a hospitality facility that was submerged by the waters; the palm trees and part of the erected huts lie in a swampy-like environment.

Drawn by our concern, two half drunken young men narrate  the loss the investor made before he could even recoup a penny on their venture. With sweaty foreheads and red eyes, they stagger their way back to a bar area.  They speak in hushed tones which attract curiosity. They are communicating to a young waitress. With a straight face, she tells them to call her when they are ready to order for drinks.

Sheepishly, they break out into loud laughter. Outside, a fish monger holds two fish fastened with a twine.
In local dialect, he calls out for buyers. He notices my attention to birds up in the trees which I am photographing, so he requests that I take a shot of his fish, minus his face, so I can ‘go market it in Kampala’. I oblige. He is curious to know if photography is any better than fishing. 

With no prompt answer to give, we laugh it off before he recommends another place where he has seen tourists looking for birds.

The end of trip
I promise him that I will be heading there after finishing up with our agenda for the day- visiting a school, with my friends Godfrey Lule and Paul Muwonge.  The icing is finding the pupils of Bukula SDA Primary School studying about weather, and one of the advantages one pupil has listed, is, it warms our bodies. 

I could have added that as it did so, it warmed a birders’ soul at the sight of many birds perched on tree branches by the shorelines of that part of Lake Victoria while others flew freely in the over its waters.

Quick notes 
From Kiyindi fishing village, hues subtly shine down onto a half invisible forested backdrop and further down, the lake all together giving off an effect of what looks like silver springs. 

Somewhere on God’s rich early morning canvas, are the fishermen on their boats that can be interpreted as half oval-like silhouettes. With patience, you can add life to this picturesque moment with flying black birds that add good contrast to the yellowing sunrise.   

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