After a short but wonderful three day stay in Paris, Dad and I finally began the last part of the journey to Uganda. We woke up early Friday morning, said goodbye to the 97 degree Paris weather, and hopped on our plane for the next stop, Nairobi, Kenya. After a nine hour flight, we finally landed. It was a layover to remember. We were sitting patiently during our four hour wait in the Nairobi airport, when a young woman in uniform came to the center of the room and calmly, but sternly, told everyone to please exit the building. Most people start running and swiftly walking to the nearest exit. Smoke filled the building. After a little bit of investigation we came to the conclusion that there had been a huge electrical fire at the airport. They sent us to a different terminal and after an extra hour and a half of waiting, we finally got on our plane and arrived in Uganda about 4:00 am. We checked into the Entebbe Airport Guest House and immediately went to sleep for a very short night’s rest. Our “night’s sleep” ended at 11:00 am but the beds were great, we had a wonderful breakfast, and best of all, we took refreshing showers!
At 3:30 that afternoon, a very kind driver sent from Amani met us and we started our journey from Entebbe to Jinja. All I can say is “Wow!” What an experience! My biggest surprise was that in Uganda people drive on the left side of the road–and traffic is crazy. I felt my life flash before me over and over again due to the fact that every driver weaves between cars and misses head on collisions by about six inches every time. As I looked out my open window, I saw shacks right and left made from scrap metal, people wearing tattered clothes, and I breathed in the scent of burning trash. Just how you picture Uganda, right?
Somehow people tend to leave out the other things I experienced, like the breathtaking views of the mountains, people smiling and laughing, singing and dancing. There is true joy here as well as poverty. It’s also a place with fewer of the technological distractions that keep people from interacting.
Africa is so much more than I have ever imagined. It’s heaven. It’s happiness. It’s beautiful. It’s home. I’ll end this post with a quote I like a lot: “Sometimes the place you’re used to is not the place where you belong. You belong where you believe you belong, where is that for you?” – Katende (from the movie, Queen of Katwe).
I have attached a few pictures from the past week. Understandably, Amani asks us not to post pictures of the children through social media, but please know that they are adorable and I have fallen in love with all of them!! I am so thankful for the opportunity to be here! It is better than I dreamed it would be.