Story of Uganda begin here

I still remember the day was April 4, 2008, when I decided to switch the job. I started to give interviews. Fortunately, I was selected in Picfare industries Ltd Uganda. Truly I was not even known where Uganda located on Africa’s map. Now it was the R&D time about Africa. I searched a lot and was very comfortable with maximum and minimum temperature and greenery in Uganda. When I was searching for the company I got stuck on Aneesh’s  blog where he beautifully describes each and everything.

Interview and research

My interviewer Mr CK asked me to join within 20 days and give my decision as soon as possible. Initially, everybody told me not to go, Africa, as it is not good for growth and safety but the same time I am thankful to my friends Alok Nautiyal, Shailendra Rathore and Vinod Suri who insist me to go and experience. They told me if everybody is discouraging you in that case you should go there and see how is the place and working environment as I have another offer in Mumbai.

By that time I do have 2-month return ticket so was comfortable with my selection. I still remember the word by CK that too much analysis cause paralysis so after thinking a lot I decided here we go.I was already resigned in my last company once I committed to Picfare industries.Now 15 June 2008 my first day in Uganda.

Uganda Capital

Arrival at Entebbe airport Uganda

I reached around 12:45 at Entebbe International Airport Uganda. Driver James came to welcome me and said welcome to Uganda saibo. I was surprised what is the meaning of Sebo. Let me make it clear, In Uganda, they call Sebo for the gentleman and Nyabo for women. I have seen on the way few places where all motorbikes people are waiting for someone. I asked the driver what is this then he told me that we use taxi and motorbikes ( local language boda-boda) for transport.

Moving to Kampala Uganda from airport

When I was seeing out of the window it was Lake Victoria a beautiful lake in Entebbe. Now it was the time to approach toward Kampala. Mr Thakkar was the first person I met in Uganda. He is a manager in store and warehouse of Southern Range Nyanza Ltd. Now from Kampala I and his family move together toward Jinja my work location.So it was the time to inform the family that I reached safely so I make the call and let them be comfortable from my side.

So now I am hungry Mr Thakar offer me Dhokla (Gujarati dish) a delicious one I love it. In the evening Mr Ck comes to meet me and asked me to have one round in market and does some household shopping. The first thing I was waiting for my new mobile number. Finally, I got it the evening I had dinner at Alpesh’s house. It was my first day in Uganda I was tired, but interested to see blue sky with starts no pollution temperature 20 degrees.

Ck the boss in Picfare Uganda

16 June 2008 my first day starts with a cup of tea and toast from Ck’s house. Now time to heading toward company I got introduce to every one staff in all three companies ( Picfare, SRNL and Panafrica ). In staff, there were more than 30 foreigners. It’s 10:00 tea time with Serving Company I think from British TimeMr Keny. Now onward same routine from morning to evening work and after 19:00 enjoy volleyball, table tennis or pool at night light. Some people used to call its honeymoon period for fresher, but I am surprised that I was in honeymoon period for all 18 months I worked. I enjoyed my working environment as well as weekend life on Saturday and Sunday.

Do Not Miss This Point

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marchinson falls Uganda

Now it’s time to explore Uganda. The best thing I ever like the place is Murchison Falls.It is 5 hours from Kampala with about 305 km. We headed this place with Mr Nitin (Colleague in IT), Mr Prasad and Mr Amit’s family. It’s wonderful breakfast with biryani and chicken legs. So first-day visit to wildlife safari and come back to kolping guest house. Full night explore Masindi town after dinner with all bachelor. The second-day visit to Murchison falls gorilla safari and have dinner at Masindi guest house. The one thing I will prefer that if you want to enjoy Murchison try to stay at Red chilli camping house, we missed it.

Bujagali falls Jinja Uganda

Second best place is bujagali. This is nearby jinja around 8 Km away. It’s a get-together point for foreigner you can enjoy tasty Nile Special beer here with slow music.There are other places too like Queen Elizabeth National Park, nabugabo beach, Entebbe zoo, Entebbe botanical garden, Equator, Source of Nile, Crocodile Park, sippi falls, bungee jumping site, Fort Portal, Kibale Forest, and so on where you can enjoy nature.

I still remember few words of Luganda apart from I already used in this blog. 1- How are you-Olyotya sabo(males), Olyotya Nybo (female)

Response –Jendi (I am fine ) 2- Muindi (for Indian ), Mzungu (For white ) and Webaale –Thank you

crested crane national bird
crested crane national bird

Now it’s time to know how to go – Visa process for Indian is on arrival basis you must have to take yellow fever vaccine before leaving for Uganda. Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airways and Emirates airways fly to Uganda. I prefer Emirates is best. For Indian food, there are a lot of Indian grocery stores market and restaurant in the garden city. I would personally be recommended Haandi restaurant Kampala and Leoz or Baraza in Jinja.

There are Indian temples and you can enjoy all Indian festivals.Transport mainly used boda-boda( motorbike ), taxi( matato ) and minibus. The local currency is Uganda Shilling (UGX). The official language is English so there is no communication problem at all. Weather is good at all 12 months temperature 25C to 30C. International dialling code for Uganda is +256. Main exports of Uganda is coffee, cotton, tea, fish and fish products, tobacco, maize, beans, pyrethrum and vanilla.

Read, also how to migrate Japan for work

Vegetable, fruits and vegetarian or non-vegetarian foods are cheap and fresh not like frozen in Japan. I like maize, Passionfruit and pineapple best in Uganda. There are common foods throughout most parts of Uganda, such as millet, sorghum, beans, groundnut, sweet potatoes, cassava and maize. Green bananas, known as ‘Matooke’, and sometimes referred to as the ‘national dish’ of Uganda, are predominantly grown in the south. Traditionally, Ugandans eat with their right hand (the left being reserved for hygiene purposes). They use ‘Matooke’ and/or millet, rolling it into a ball or mashing it to pick up the food.

I  spent 1 year 6 month there but never felt that I am outside of India I enjoyed every day even every moment. Picfare is the good place to work if you have guts to work alone with accompanying junior staff and give them growth as well as yourself. Like everywhere here also you have to work hard, be sincere, control temperament (which I lost some time) and for that, you will get paid and rewarded. It was the nice experience to develop in-house payroll system for group companies with fingerprint machine.Last but not least again I would to Thank all of my colleagues at Joban Group Of Companies.

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11 Comments

  1. Thank you Mr.Rajesh for this wonderful piece you have shared with us. To some of us, you were a senior, a mentor and a great friend.

    I can never forget your selfless attitude in work.You always cared for all.You also had a unique sense of generosity.To this i say THANK YOU.

    The candle you lit in me whilst you were my immediate boss still burns to-date. The guiding principles of hard-work still reverberate in me. Though am no-longer part of the picfare family, am still inspired by the principles which cemented the foundation of my profession as a software developer.
    Thank you Mr.Raj and we hope to see you soon when you visit again in Uganda.

    stuart

  2. Wow Mr.Rajesh ,

    Thanks for posting Exp. in Uganda. Really happy to read them. and i remember my golden days while i was working with Nytil Picfare Ltd from 1999 to 2002 in EDP Dept. as a system analyst. Mr.Ramchandra and Mr.Thakkar and CK know me very well.and about Muje kenny(Tea men) knows me very well as well, he was the one who every day gives me Milk with Ginger because i don’t tea or coffe. But due to the nature of Mr,KLJ i just completed contract period and came back to india.Otherwise i would have planned to stay for life time there.
    Anyways must thanks again for nice descriptoin. i read each and every word u wrote.

    thanks

    Vikramsinh Jadeja

    • Thank you; Mr. Jadeja. It’s really pleasure to hear that you also worked in the same department where i was.Place is nice to specially weather conditions.Planning to visit again after few years on holidays.It is a good memory of that place.Thanks again for your valuable wording.

  3. Willam Okello Reply

    Hi Rajesh,

    It’s nice reading from you again after so long, but most importantly, sharing all the excitable momemnts that you went thru enroute to, and eventually to Southern Range! Thank for all the appreciative attitude about your stay while in Uganda in general and Southern Range in particular.

    It was indeed a pleasure working with you, and as exemplified by this sharing of your experience, you always wore a friendly face even amidst the most tight situations such as “salary running” and other related System support functions.

    It was a sad moment parting with you, but iam greatly enlightening to learn that you are successfuly engaged in the profession and happy!

    Best Regards from the entire PanAfrican team – Patricia, Gerald, & Joseph.

    william.

  4. Nice one Rajesh, and certainly very happy to know that u remember everything…Good keep it up….

    • Thank you madam and CK sir for being there….now i am looking forward to see you with family in Japan visit any time welcome…I will visit once again to Uganda but do not know when…but for sure i will..

  5. Thanks Rajesh that you enjoyed your stay in Uganda,we are looking forward to seeing you again. Ugandans are friendly and very welcoming. Though you forgot to thank me for the luganda words i taught you. we miss u.
    looking forward to seeing you again

    enoch
    +256 704- 818 632

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