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  • Writer's pictureShelly Bandelman

Smack Dab Between Two Poles

The equator is an invisible line 24,901 miles around the Earth (I know, east to west has no end but we are measuring the circumference of a sphere here) and touches 13 countries. I am blessed to live in one of those countries. The equator is only about 17 miles from my house as the crow flies, but I am not a crow, so I drive about two hours down the Kampala-Masaka Highway to visit one of the more unique places in the world.

I have taken many visitors and locals to this magical place. It doesn’t appear to be anything special, two big white circles designating N and S for a photo op and a yellow line showing the path of the equator, but the rarity of being at the center of the Earth is a cool experience. The “Water Flow Show” with Huntington and his bright yellow funnels draining into white five gallon buckets never gets old. I know this “trick” has been debunked by all the experts, but I have observed with my very eyes the water flow clockwise (N), counter clockwise (S), and straight down (E). Brian has moved the buckets, changed the N to S, used the same bucket in all three spots, and the outcome is always the same. The water does change directions!

Colorful craft shops have sprung up on both sides of the road. The usual baskets, trinkets, carvings, and paintings are interspersed with “I visited the Equator” t-shirts. The big draw for our family is the Aid Child Cafe. For a quick snack it’s hard to beat their chapati chips and guacamole. They sell more upscale crafts and local treats. The profits from Aid Child go to the care and education of children with HIV/AIDS so paying a little more is worth it. Even more exciting, they have flushing toilets! Flushing squatties are easy to find, but real toilets are a treat we will stop for!

You can’t go wrong with the wood fired pizza on the Equator Cafe for lunch! It isn’t the best pizza in the world, but in Uganda it is right up there near the top. I still like to watch the guy build my pizza and slide it into the brick oven full of dancing flames and fire wood. That I get to enjoy a cold Coke Without Sugar and smoky pizza in a place most people only read about in books still amazes me.

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