Planes and other fun UGANDA!

Trip Start Jan 03, 2013
Trip End Jan 19, 2013

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Where I stayed
Mostly an airplane...
Kampala, Uganda
What I did
Ethiopia and the longest lines of all time

Flag of Ethiopia  ,
Sunday, January 6, 2013

Day 1

Took the longest plane ride of my life today after standing in the longest line of my life containing the most luggage I've ever seen in my life to the farthest place from home I've ever been in my far I'd say I'm doing pretty well.  Fortunately I didn't sleep more than 20 minutes in DC so sleeping on the plane came pretty easy and I managed a solid (as solid as plane sleeping can be) 6 hours (out of 12.5) during the flight here between the three meals and 4 drink carts that passed through.

It just so happens that this helped a lot when it came to figuring out what time of day it was all day since I was the only one who had managd to switch my body clock over on day one. When we finally arrived at Assid Abab, Ethiopia all was dry and smoggy and the airport was terribly confusing and disorganized. It was interesting to say the least.  By the time we figured out where we were supposed to be and got seated we got to...sit around more for an hour until a bus came to take us to the plane.  Luckily we met some pretty interesting people including a girl who is from Seattle and now works for the World Bank here in Kampala and a guy who is about my age who is a journalis t and is independently traveling to the Democratic Republic of Congo to help with humanitarian efforts (holy guts!). He was from Canada. Those crazy Canadians.  I thought it was really intriguing to meet people who were just like me once who have managed to turn their passion into a lifestyle.  I hope to ultimately achieve the same goal.

Anywhoozles, after an easy (despite grumblings about another flight) hour and a half flight with yet ANOTHER meal served we were finally here!!!!!!!!!!  And let me say it was .absolutely. breathtaking.  The greenest place I have ever seen.  The drive from Entebbe airport to CANTEL (where we are staying) was amazing.  We got to stop at a supermarket and take in the way of life that is SO different from our own.  The poverty is overwhelming but it somehow manages to make this plac that much more beautiful.  The people here are so generous and friendly and willing to give despite the fact that we are the ones coming from a fully developed country (and I mean that in no way racially, it is simply a fact).  We laughed the whole way here watching goats eating off fences and cows tied to trees and people sandwiches on wheels (for real, 2 guys with a girl sitting SIDE SADDLE on a motorcycle weaving through traffic...apparently a totally normal occurrence.)  It was a wonderful driv even though Renee was seriously worried about her luggage bouncing off the top of the van (in hindsight, a legimate concern as it was not tied down and the roads here are CRAZY).  It was almost overwhelming how much there is to see everywhere you look.  And everything is so COLORFUL.  Almost every building has an ad painted onto it (I saw lots of coca-cola...I wonder if they are sponsored???  I will look more into that later..)*** Looked into that today, they are sponsored! It's a way for people to get their dilapidated houses and businesses to look fresh without having to pay for it. Neato.*** Despite the nutso traffic, the people in the shops and on the streets seemed so relaxed and in the moment that it almost didn't make sense.  According to our professor this is only for social occasions.  Time really does matter when it comes to business..but we have yet to see him show it.

I, yet again, fell subject to my terrible inability to say NO.  We had our "first open market experience" as we stopped at a line of fruit stands on the side of the road on the way here.  We didn't even have to get out of the car to be bombarded by women selling fruit and, naturally, I was on the side of the van FACING THEM. Me. The girl who falls into every tourist trap on earth.  Go figure.  Lucky me, I guess. Even luckier for them.  Needless to say I drove away with 2 bunches of bananas, a mango, and a very large avocado with which I am not sure what to do.  Although I have to say, the bananas were shared in the car and They. Were. Amazing.

When we arrived at CANTEL (at last) we were expecting to lie down and nap but were instead told to freshen up before tea downstairs (which we hoped would go quickly so THEN we could nap) but then were told that dinner was at 7 and at that point there was no going back.  We were in for the long haul.  Fortunately this time the long haul was only 2 more hours.  So, after the most interesting shower and the most delicious cup of tea of all time we had some time to kill.  The younger girls went for a walk with "Simon Says" while Renee and I bought phone minutes and called our loved ones.  I was so happy to talk to my daddy and simply overjoyed to hear my wondrful boyfriend's voice..but I think he was even happier.  I was lucky enough to catch him right as he was going to work (: I miss him so much but I know this experience is worth it.

Dinner was ready at seven but Pascal got "interrupted" by Anid, the lady at the front desk, and meandered in around 7:40.  My eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach and I got a little vit of evreything.  Even the fish with the whole head.  Eyeball and all.  There was a small stupid part of me that forgot that the majority of the world does not just filet a fish and throw the rest away.  Luckily I got over it pretty quickly because the tilapia (fresh caught from Lake Victoria) was delicious.  There was also a tradition banana dish called Matoke that tasted like baked potatoes.  Weird? Yes.  Amazing? Definitely.  I'm pretty stoked for the rest of this trip.

After I ate as much as possible of what was on my plate I was insta-sleepy and Pascal reminded us to start our journal (which will be my blog)  However, due to lack of internet availability I will be writing daily and posting when I get the chance.  It may take time though because these computers look like the one that's been sitting on my dad's desk since 1992.

Now I am sitting in my princess tent (aka a SUPER comfortable tiny bed shielded by mosquito netting in front of an open window with no screen) and am ready to turn off the lights and hit the hay.  Which I am going to do even though it's 9 pm because, well, I haven't really slept in like...72 hours because I was too excited to sleep for like 2 nights before and plane sleeping isn't exactly restful.  Plus the fact I'm getting up at 6:30 am to go watch my very first African sunrise and hopefully get some incredible pictures.

Therefore, I say goodnight!

Until next time, xoxo
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