After much anticipation and help from my family for packing and organizing the next two months of my life into a small backpack I have arrived in Uganda. Due to the amazing nature of time zones, the plane ride over was one of the most bizarre and awesome experiences. I left Newark airport as the sun was setting and as we flew east to my connection in Brussels the sun set and rose in a matter of hours. I was served dinner on the plane, dozed and woke up to what my Newark time said was 12:37am, yet the sun was rising over the cloud covered Atlantic. I thought what an interesting midnight it is in the middle of the ocean. The flight attendant soon came by with breakfast, which I only munched on because only a couple hours ago she had served me dinner and so I wasn’t hungry for breakfast yet.
My second flight was also extraordinary. Although to my dismay the sunset before we flew over most of Africa so I couldn’t sit with my nose glued to the window to watch the world go by beneath me. But I did see Egypt’s golden sands laid out for miles out my window before the sun moved across the Atlantic to shine back home. Also after 26 hours of flying and no real rest I felt a bit drugged and exhausted so even when I tried to look out the window and eat the food the flight attendants served me, my eyelids kept closing of their own accord and my head kept flopping back down onto my chest. So this flight was less eventful in the beginning. Until we began nearing our final destination. As we flew into Uganda I woke to my dark window occasionally lit with a blast of white light. I looked out and saw that above the lower cloud cover, huge storm clouds hovered and it was from these that lightning would shoot out to illuminate the sky and land around it. That too was pretty awesome to witness and a powerful welcome to my new home.
After landing I made my way to a backpackers hostel and barely showered and finished brushing my teeth before I passed out, to my utter bliss, finally horizontal in a bed. Lucky for me I arrived in the evening so when I fell asleep and woke up I was already on Ugandan time, even though their clocks are set 7 hours ahead of my home clock back in New England. I have since made my way via Matatu, public mini bus, to the city of Kampala where I will meet Alice, the woman I am interning with in northern Uganda. I am meeting her today in just a few short hours and then she and I will travel tomorrow up to Pader where the school she runs is located and where I will be spending the rest of my summer interning.
Wi-fi is hit or miss and very slow in most all of the places I have tried to get it so far. So posting may not be regular. I don’t have many pictures yet, but once I am settled and have found more of my place here I will snap some photos and post them for all to see how amazingly lush and vibrant this country is. If only I had a camera in my eye so I could blink and take a snapshot of all of the beautiful moments I have. Then I could snap a picture of the many Ugandan children I have passed and waved hello to who smile and laugh with glee as they shout a greeting back. Or the tall vine encircled trees reaching far up into a dark green canopy, or the hills and lakes the reach further than the eye can reach. I cannot wait to explore this country, I am afraid my short two months is not going to be long enough to experience it all, so I am guessing I will return.
As the kind Ugandan man taught me over our two hour breakfast conversation, Siiba bulungi (have a good day) and weebale nyo (thank you very much) to all that have helped me get here. I still wake up and have to blink multiple times to remind myself I am really here.