The Induction Phase

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May 21st 2019
Published: May 21st 2019
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We have arrived and the adventures have begun, full force. The first week of travel on a continent so polarizing (physically and metaphorically) to Canada has been eye opening at every turn. In cancer treatment, chemotherapy begins with the induction phase, which ideally puts the cancer in remission. High dose exposure. This first week has felt like the induction phase of our trip. Submerging and acclimatizing my mind and body to the Ugandan way of life and developing an idea of what to expect for the next three months.

Our first day in Uganda was spent connecting ourselves with back home and with each other while in country. We purchased internet from africell and Ugandan phones (drawing on my early-2000's, T9 skills) to bridge communication gaps. We then took in the botanical gardens and marvelled at the tropical fruit trees, the likes of which I had only ever seen on The Food Network, until now. We then asked our driver for a traditional lunch recommendation, where we ate the food pictured. Matoke (cooked, mashed plantain), sweet potato, rice, groundnut (gnut) sauce, goat meat, and okra. The meals are heavily carb based, and goat meat and beef are all but interchangeable here. There are goats and cows all along the sides of the roads, in busy parts of town.

The next day we visited the reptile village/sanctuary. We learned so much about local reptiles and were able to get up close and personal with tortoises, snakes, and chameleons. We also perused several different markets in the first few days, which were overwhelming at first. The nature of being tourists is that we're always somewhat in the way, and in the tight, bustling african markets we are even more of a nuisance.

The next few days were spent on and en route to the Ssese islands, Bugala island specifically. The ferry was scheduled to leave at 2:00 pm but did not leave until 5:30 pm, due to the fuel truck running on "Ugandan time". We filled the time with ukulele music, reading, and games. The islands were gorgeous and our resort was stunning; right on the beach with a pool. We spent three days on the island and have now returned to Entebbe.

My favourite fun fact from the trip so far was learning, over a bonfire, that the constellations are upside down here! We are not technically in the southern hemisphere yet, but being so close to the equator, the Big Dipper is still in the north but is an upside down ladle. This makes me feel far away from home and small and humbled and comforted all at once. I'm looking forward to more revelations, experiences, fun facts and good times.


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