|Team of Six arrive in Entebbe!|
So much to say - how will I say it all??
We stepped off the plane onto the tarmac and it was a wall of wet, warm air that greeted us. We walked into the terminal and all the worries about the people who would greet us being mean, or rude, or unnecessarily 'hassly', melted away. Giant, relaxed smiles on the faces of those who attended our group, issuing visas quickly and without any fuss about our myriad issues. Stamp, stamp, welcome to Uganda - with a warm smile. Delicious! We picked up our bags and I exchanged my money at the airport- which felt a little too convenient to be a good rate but it was handy so I did it. $130 = 274,000 shillings. Sounds impressive - water bottles cost me 4000 shillings. When you're dealing with currencies in the high thousands like that, it seems like it might all go away too quickly. I plan to just not spend money except on water, or the things I REALLY think need to come home. Unfortunately there won't be a buyer's day while we're at Shanti so we won't get to take advantage of that but we'll have a chance to shop a bit. I digress!
|My bed with mosquito net|
In the US, there are laws protecting pedestrians and requiring that motorized vehicles stop for pedestrians- and I highly doubt anything like that exists here. Pedestrians get out of the way, fast, because the drivers drive fast and do not slow down for anything on the road, whether it's a motorcycle, a person, a dog, whatever.
There are dogs *everywhere*, usually running in packs of 2 and 3 as far as I could see. They didn't seem to belong to anyone, and it makes me wonder about rabies.
We reached a point just before we arrived at the guest house where there were two men sitting near a giant stop sign, blocking us from going further down the road. Unlike in the US where there are flaggers to handle a one-lane-road, they sort of waved at us, we pulled over and turned off lights, and then we waited. The road was probably a mile long with the tallest speedbumps you've ever seen and finally it was our turn to go. It was just not at all how we'd do it- with emphasis on safety, on efficiency - we're on Ugandan time and it runs slower, and is more flexible, and doesn't have as many entitlements as American time does.
|My luggage and room.|
We arrived at the Guest House (the name escapes me, something about Pope John?) and I was greeted with my own room (which I have mixed feelings about- I'm in Africa, and I'm sleeping alone? NUTS!) It's sweaty and hot and the power is out so the fan doesn't work. I'm in the dark typing on the bed with my headlamp for light (thank you, Rachel!) and feeling grateful that I haven't seen any cockroaches. Not sure I could sleep if there were cockroaches.
|The courtyard at night.|
Tomorrow we'll get up when we're ready and possibly ride motorcycles (I really, really don't want to do that!!!) to Shanti so that we can do our first session.
I can't wait to see what Uganda looks like in the light of day. I miss my husband, I miss my kids- it's Eidie's birthday and I'm across the world in a strange bed praying no creepy crawlies find me in the night. I can't call home until I get minutes for Jane's phone so I want to do that tomorrow. This will be an amazing adventure but will be just a little easier if I can stay connected with home.