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Published: January 11th 2013
Waiting at the Border
Multitudes of volunteers to drive us.
Sad to leave. Excited to go. Highlights today are: 1) Early breakfast and more good-byes; 2) Uganda border; 3) Driver Ben brought us to the Botanical Garden at Entebbe; 4) Waiting at Entebbe; 5) Headed Home.
NARRATIVE: 5:30am. Up and at 'em. Showers then breakfast. Dustin arrived right on time. It has been so peaceful riding with him, listening to music, venturing into conversation with exaggerated hand gestures and little common language. Edina and her staff insisted on carrying our luggage. All circled around us and said goodbye. Drove away from the red dust streets, the shops, the city compost pile, our colleagues, our friends - Bye Kayanga.
Arrived at Mutukula at 9:00am. Breezed through the offices shrugging off those cutting in line until Steve decided he had had enough. One guy stepped in front of Steve so Steve said "Don't do that". The guy went away. Another guy behind us stepped in front, noticed Steve's 'stink-eye' and then said, "Sorry - no problem". Then the two of them chatted in a friendly way. Made it across the border and stood about 200 meters from the offices. So here we were in Uganda waiting for Ben, our driver. We
Established 1901 along Lake Victoria
were early. Men harrassed us constantly asking us if we wanted a ride. They shouted at us. They threatened to call the police. One young man stood five feet from us with his arms crossed and simply stared. He demanded, "Who are you wanting?", then followed up with "I am your driver"! Steve told him, "You are not Ben". The young man was disappointed to learn this. He again threatened to call the police. Fine. We knew we were in no danger but were just looking out of place. We tried to call Ben and our other contacts in Uganda but to no avail. We ignored everyone but it didn't matter. We were still the objects of interest. We pretended to be talking on the phone but were quiety talking to each other. After 45 minutes, Ben arrived. Good to see him. Happy greetings and then on our way to Entebbe.
We loved talking with Ben about his family, our mutual friends, our adventures in Tanzania since he had delivered us to the border less than two weeks ago-- and just getting to know him. He brought us through dust and construction. The amazing number of speedbumps kept Steve
'Trusty Driver' & 'Garden Guide'
Driver Ben (R) is pals with Tour Guide Bright (L)
a little nauseaus. We stopped for gas and 3 sodas. When we saw a monkey, Ben offered to bring us to the Botanical Garden near Entebbe Airport to see the monkeys. Why not? We stopped and Ben bought bread to feed the monkeys. Our uneventful drive brought us to the Botanical Garden where Ben's friend, Bright was our tour guide. Turns out that Bright knows Father Dease, our friend and President of the University of St. Thomas and knows our friend, Charles, in Kampala. Father Dease helped Bright get through school so he was grateful for that. Bright told us about various species of monkeys and showed us the ones who had just had babies. It was very hot but the gardens were beautiful - gardenia, jasmine, golden orb spider, and the location for the original movie - Tarzan. Bright asked me to greet Father Dease and tell him that he needs money to start a business. I said I would.
Ben dropped us off at Entebbe Airport. We paid him the fare, a tip and were back in the land of 'real toilets', Pizza and Coke. We relaxed in the Delta Lounge, cleaned up, and dressed for the
flight. Cannot wait to see our sons and daughter-in-law. Good-bye for now, Sweet Africa. ******************
Take me to the Educate Tanzania website: http://educatetanzania.org
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