The sky is pitch black. The air is dusty and hot.
It's our first night in Uganda, in Kampala. We're headed downtown from Makindye hill, tucked inside Crystal's little blue two-door Toyota Rav4, to explore the city after-hours.
Before we drive down the hill, Crystal pulls over on the edge of the rocky road and rolls down our windows so that we can admire the view. From up here, at the top of Makindye, Kampala's twinkling nightscape looks unreal.
An endless sea of bright, luminescent lights twinkle from below. In the gaping black darkness, the lights look just like stars. Like glittering moon stars, sprinkled across the swirling galaxy of the city. Like stardust shaken down from the heavens, their luminous particles sown across the black earth. Goosebumps stir across my arms as I breathe in the warmth, the darkness, the light.
“Welcome to Vegas,” Crystal jokes, "The city of sin."
“Definitely not Vegas,” I murmur quietly. My eyes are watering, now, the lights beginning to blur. "That would be an insult." Justin laces his fingers with mine and we gaze out of the open window. A warm breeze shimmers through the air, caresses our skin; the lights seem to twinkle even brighter. As Crystal turns to face us from the driver's seat, her profile cuts a silhouette against the man-made stars.
"Well, then." She sweeps a hand dramatically out of the window, towards the gleaming lights. "Welcome to Kampala.”
Mel left London to chase summer around the world, one country at a time. She loves the ocean, writing postcards, and solo exploration. Travel with her on Instagram.