Saturday, April 30, 2011
Week 1. Our plane touches down in Kampala, Uganda.
It has been almost a year since I was last in Uganda, yet from the moment that I stepped off the plane it has felt like I never left... the air is hot and thick with smoke and dust, daring boda boda (motorcycle) drivers weave between the brightly painted taxis that fill the street, lined on either side by small run down buildings, hardworking mamas, and throngs of screaming children.
This is Africa.
It is both me and my co-leaders second time traveling to the incredible country of Uganda, so it has been absolutely hilarious watching our 11 wide-eyed students take in Africa for the first time. For weeks we have been trying to describe this to our students, but there are some things that you just have to experience yourself! Things like African grasshoppers for lunch, bartering in the markets, your first freezing bucket shower, and best of all--the amazing people that have drawn Jamie and I back to this place.
For a brief moment I look out the window of our hostel and stare at the street below me, trying to comprehend that I am here again. But there isn't much time to contemplate as the duties of an outreach leader never end. Garbed in skirts and looking oddly pregnant from the lumpy money belts we are wearing, Jamie and I let our students sleep off their jet lag while we charge into the flurry of preparations that must be done--buying everything from mosquito nets to pineapples to malaria medication, and then back to the hostel to greet our sleepy students that just woke up in Africa for the first time!
(P.S. I am now safely back in Salem, Oregon--these are the stories of my last trip to Africa that I never got to publish because of the lack of internet. In other words, this is a re-inactment for your reading pleasure!)