Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I'm Here!

Well, I FINALLY made it to Uganda! I am exhausted. We left Denver Monday night around 9:PM and landed in London around noon their time. We had a long enough layover to take in a few sights in the mist. I think God's just getting me used to the frizzy, kinky hair I'll no doubt experience here. I looked at one of my teammates as we were leaving the airport in Entebbe and said, "I think I've got all bad hair days ahead of me." Even with mist off and on (and thus the crazy hair), I enjoyed London. We took a quick walking tour of one area, taking in Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace (I looked all over for you, Edie. Missed you. Poop.). There was a band practicing for the Queen's upcoming birthday and we got to see them strut their stuff.

The marching band was followed by a troop of bagpipes.

Later we saw another band practicing, but they WERE ON HORSES. We never saw them play, but they actually carried their instruments while riding horses.

(Oh brother, I am such a band geek. All my pictures today are band pictures.)

After a few hours experiencing London, we had to get back to the airport to board another overnight flight to Entebbe. I've had enough plane travel, I tell you. When we finally landed in Uganda, I was so mixed up. I kept feeling like it was about 4 in the afternoon, but it was 9 in the morning. We piled into vans for more traveling to our final destination. It's too bad we were whizzing down the road, because I couldn't get any pictures of my introduction to Uganda. It is a huge understatement to say I felt like a fish out of water. My first reaction was, "What was I thinking?! I have to be here for two weeks?! How will I ever make it?" I wished I'd never agreed to do this. It was way, way, WAY out of my comfort zone. I felt so far away from everyone I know. I kept telling myself I was tired which makes me emotional, and recited some key verses over and over again to keep myself from panicking. Later, one of the team members asked me what I thought and I was honest about it. As we talked about it, and our time in Africa increased, I found myself settling.

Everywhere you look, there are little shacks set up along the road trying to sell their wares. I'm not sure how anyone can make any money as they're all selling much the same stuff. I saw women walking along the road with bags and even big water containers on their heads. Yes, you read that right. Carrying stuff on their heads. With no hands! When we stopped as we drove through the capital city of Kampala, people were ready to sell us something if we got out. There are so many people, no good roads, lots of crazy drivers. Maybe getting out of Kampala helped my anxiety level too, because as we got out into the countryside and fewer people I felt better too.

We drove to Mityana which is where my friend's orphanage, the HOPE center is. Because we were all talking so much, we accidentally drove right through town and had to turn around, making the travel time even more. The team left me with my friend, Angie, and went on. Though it's strange to say, I was kinda sad to leave the team I'd only met before boarding the plane in Denver. I'll be separated from them until Saturday morning. Is it weird to say I miss them already?

After leaving my team, my friend, Angie, took me to her HOPE center and showed me around a little, but that's another post.

Thanks for your prayers, friends. Keep 'em coming. I am a mzungu in a strange place.


Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said...

WHAT an adventure. I will be praying that your time there is full of wonder and blessings (kinky hair or not.)

blessings to you - Marsha

jen said...

a friend of mine studied abroad there in college and her blog for that year was "the mzungu diaries"

Miriam Pauline said...

YAY!! Glad you made it! How cool to see the bands prepping for Trooping the Colour. Praying your jet lag evens out soon and you continued to be blessed by your trip.