Published: July 11th 2012July 11th 2012
Wow! So much has happened since we left home! Unfortunately, access to the internet has been more limited than we expected. We tried to use the internet cafe a couple of days ago, but the network was down. I'll do my best to give an overview of everything that has happened so far! In the past week I have laughed more than I have in a really long time....
When we arrived at the airport in Entebbe, we were greated by Bob, our driver. His job was to not only get us safely to Kampala, but also to cram 6 adults and 24 suitcases into a matata (large passenger van). Luckily the drive was only an hour, because there certainly was not much space to sit. This was our first real glimpse of Africa. One of the first things we noticed was the interesting smell. But, what was more shocking was the degree of absolutely poverty that many Ugandans live in. It is something that you can see on tv or hear from other people, but cannot possibly understand until you witness it. Bob drove us from Entebbe to Kampala, where we stayed over night in a guest house called Adonai. The next morning we woke up and did some shopping at an amazing store called the Banana Boat and then had some African tea (the most wonderful tea ever)! Before leaving for Kasese, the small town we are living in, we went to the supermarket for our large shopping trip that needs to last us for the next month. Although there are markets in Kasese, where you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables, it is safer to buy meat and other perishables in the city.
While driving from Kampala to Kasese, we crossed almost all of Southern Uganda. Our driver for the next 3 weeks is Obina. Poor Obina thought we were crazy right from the beginning, but as soon as Aubrey pulled our the rubber chicken that we are travelling with, I'm pretty sure his view changed even more! It took us about 6 hours in a matata, with all of our suitcases, supplies we purchased here for the school and all of our food. We arrived at our house and started to get settled. We are quite lucky to be living where we are. Unfortunately we have had a few encounters with cockroaches. Usually Aubrey is the one to find them and ends up yelling, or silently freaking out until we kill them. Our shower is an interesting situation. You can sit on the toilet, brush your teeth and shower all of the same time. I'm not totally sure that I have mastered the technique, but I'm not covered in mud so I must be doing ok. Unfortunately, when you get out of the shower, your feet still feel dirty. But everyday, I am more and more greatful for luxuries like hot water! Driving around the city we have seen monkeys and marabou storks (they are almost as tall as I am) and had the chance to visit the Equator, or the circle that signifies where the equator is lol.
On Monday we met the children at the school for the first time. These kids are the most amazing, resilient group of children that I have ever met. Out of 219 children, 67 board at the school. The rest walk from as far as 10 kilometers away. I have had the opportunity to spend time in Top and P1 classes and absolutely adore the students in my class! Each day when we enter the classrooms, the children sign to us. The have such beautiful voices :)!
I am running of our of time for now, so these are the top five things so far:
1 - Meeting the amazing children and staff at Rwentutu Primary School
2 - Rode a boda boda with another person, a case of water and no helmet! lol
3 - Saw the sign for the equator and took a picture with our fantastic group and Harold, the rubber chicken
4 - Visited the Ugandan version of the Best Marigold Hotel lol - the Africa tea was great, the unisex bathrooms, not so great!
5 - Saw baboons on the side of the road on the way to school
1 - Visiting the congo market and going on a water safari on Friday
I promise to write again soon!