Sunday, January 19, 2014

Weary Travellers!

Greetings from the Pearl of Africa

This posting will be short and sweet because I’ve only been on the ground part of a day, and most of that was spent napping.

I flew from Phoenix to Ottawa on Thursday morning and true to form I slept very little the night before. My flight was at 6:30AM, which meant a 3:30 shuttle so needless to say I was more than a little weary on Thursday evening.

Friday was spent in orientation at the CCA offices in Ottawa and then at 4:00 we all loaded into cabs to begin the first leg of our journey. And what a journey it was; uneventful (which is always good when you’re flying) but gruelling nonetheless. Off to the Ottawa airport at 4:00, on to Toronto at 8:00 and finally flying out to London at 10:30 for a seven hour overnight flight on British Airways. But spirits were high and a stiff upper lip was had by all as we took on the necessary evil of international air travel.

We arrived into London at 10:30 AM London time and had to run to catch our connecting flight to Entebbe which again, was long but uneventful. Long story short; after approx. 16 hours in the air and more than 30 hours since starting the day on Friday we all arrived in Entebbe Uganda!

We were all exhausted but also wired and so after dumping our bags and washing up we all met in the hotel bar for a bite to eat and our first Ugandan libation. Between this and getting sorted out I didn’t get to bed until 4:00 and our down day today was much appreciated. Other than a short walk to a close-by mall to pick up a few needed things I spent most of the day napping and catching up on emails etc.  

First impressions: we’re in a really nice part of Kampala and its Sunday here so the traffic is light and it’s quite pleasant. The drive in was like driving through any number of other cities I’ve been in in developing countries although the lack of a language barrier is a little different than what I’m used to. The Ugandan’s I’ve met – and it hasn’t been many at this point – have been friendly and welcoming. I struck up conversations with strangers on the plane and today walking to the mall, and my overriding impression is the how everyone I’ve met or spoken to values education. Everyone I spoke to was either studying for something or working to save the money to go back to school. I haven’t felt threatened at all and during the day at least, I wouldn’t hesitate to walk around the local neighbourhoods.

I haven’t posted any pictures yet but if you’re interested on where I’m staying here in Kampala here’s the link;

Anyway, that’s it for now. Tomorrow we’re meeting with our in-country partners and then Tuesday we head out into the field.


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