Musa and Steven

(on the left) Musa and Steven selling fish in Fort Portal, Uganda

Experience the charm of Fort Portal on a cloudy day. As the birds chirp and Boda Bodas (motorcycle taxis) zoom by, I awake from my slumber with a desire to connect with the locals. Venturing out into the afternoon sun, I make my way towards a local market. The rectangular tin-roofed marketplace is abuzz with vendors selling everything from fresh vegetables and fruits to fish.

As I explore the marketplace, I attract the attention of the locals with my outsider appearance. The market’s dramatic lighting adds to the ambiance, reflecting on the glittering items being sold. One vendor greets me with a warm smile, and we exchange pleasantries. Soon after, two gentlemen selling smoked fish initiate a conversation with me, asking where I’m from. I tell them I’m from the UK, and they become more excited, eager to learn about my thoughts on their town and way of life.

During our conversation, we talk about everything from world affairs to their daily earnings. They’re curious to know about life in other countries and whether people are happy with their material possessions. I respond by saying that happiness cannot be found in material things, and we all share a laugh.

The two men, Steven and Musa, are content with their modest earnings and happy with their families. They’re good people, and I feel privileged to share in their happiness. Before leaving, I ask if I can take a picture of them, and they oblige. As I walk away, I’m filled with a sense of wonder about the possibility of real friendships beyond the boundaries of color, age, and religion. With Musa being a Muslim and Steven a Christian, it’s evident that good people exist everywhere.


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