Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Posts from Uganda

This is the first chance with internet access to post in the last few days.

September 5, 2011
The billboard over the road reads “Peace, Stability, and Security” next to a picture of President Museveni.  Rather ironic considering I have come to Uganda to study conflict, instability, and insecurity.  I am crossing the border into Uganda from Kenya.  The sun is setting, and I know I am at least 3 hours from Kampala.  There comes a point in the trip when I think we should be about one hour from Kampala.  An hour later, the woman in the seat ahead of me says we are in Jinja, and we should be in Kampala in an hour.  Two hours later, we arrive in Kampala.
The bus ride from Nairobi was scheduled to last 12-13 hours.  We left 45 minutes late from Nairobi and made it to Kampala in just over 15 hours.  Nevertheless, I have persevered and arrived safely in Uganda.  I will meet my group later this afternoon, as they are flying in today.  Wish me luck.  This is the final leg of my journey.  I will not be travelling alone again, except during the trip home 106 days from now.

September 7, 2011
I have arrived with my group in Gulu.  This is the most Wazungus I have been with since arriving in East Africa.  There are 15 students from all over the US.  We are sitting at a coffee shop using the free internet and drinking Coca Cola.  I feel like such a tourist.  It is odd, being as I have met less than 10 Americans in the last three months of being here, and suddenly I have a new group of friends, all of whom know what baseball is, want to talk about American football, and all agree that rice does not a stable diet make.
We left Kampala at 10:30 for our 5 hour trip to Gulu.  One broken bus, two rented matatu vans, and 8 hours later, we arrived in Gulu in a rainshower.  Luckily my bag wasn't tied to the roof like the others, but was safely tucked inside.  Not a problem though, we stayed in a nice hotel and I was blessed with my first hot shower in 5 weeks. 
Anyway, we have a few days of orientation to the Gulu area and our program before moving in with our host families on Saturday and starting class next Monday.  I will update as is possible.  I am going to try to find an USB internet stick so that I can have unlimited wireless, but no promises. 
Best wishes and God Bless all.

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