Hooray! We all made it to Kaihura safe and sound! Seven of us from Dubai and the other eight from Ethiopia.
The Emirates flight was once again very impressive. The man sitting next to me was very friendly and a native Ugandan. He introduced himself to everyone around him, repeatedly telling them “Welcome to my country”. Turns out he was from Fort Portal but currently lived in Kampala. He worked in IT and was returning on a business trip from Korea. He kept repeating how beautiful his country was and how much he loved it. He also showed me pictures of his ADORABLE 5 month old son on his iPad. Basically about the nicest guy ever.
Once we all met up with Dr. Schaad, we were introduced to Fred, our driver, and started the 6 hour car ride to Kaihura. Before arriving, we stopped at a little restaurant for lunch just outside of Kampala. The TV played music videos from probably the 60’s or 80’s but the food was good. Ugandan food is very delicious to be honest. There’s a pretty even mix of bland and salty and no spicy. I like it. 🙂
Everything is pretty much dirt colored here. I tried to think of an actual color like brown or yellow to describe it but I think dirt is most accurate. In the van/bus, We saw a lot of grazing cows and goats along with people sitting around in the shade or cooking in open pit fires. Kids often laughed and waved at us as we passed. The houses ranged from small brick buildings to wooden boards with corrugated roofs. The vegetation was very unique when wild but we also passed a tea plantation and plenty of banana (or possibly rubber) trees and small corn fields.
When we arrived at the house we’re staying in, we met some of the resident volunteers for Bringing Hope to the Family who all greeted us with big smiles, warm handshakes, and plenty of welcomes. Two were orphans who were raised here. One, Stephen, is a university student. They’re here to help with chores but also just to talk with us. Hopefully we’ll get to know each other super well by the end.
The house is much bigger than I would have imagined with tile floors, electricity, and bathrooms with showers and toilets! Sorry everyone, I guess I exaggerated the living conditions before. Although it’s a far cry from luxury, this is still the best house in town. Most don’t have as much space or comfort as we do. It even has a flat screen TV in the living room although we’re not sure if it actually works. Moreover, we met Dr. Schaad’s family and Faith, the head of the NGO, who welcomed us to our new home and led us in prayer before dinner.
Tomorrow we’re taking a tour of all of the facilities we’ll be working at. Now that we’ve seen how friendly everybody is, I look forward to finding out more about exactly what we’ll be doing. This is a completely new place but I oddly don’t feel out of place. Maybe it’s because of all of the welcomes I’ve received today or because there are 14 other students here going through the exact same thing who I can talk to. Any way I look at it, getting over jet lag and finally working can’t go wrong here.