Friday 18 January 2019
I have arrived safely in Uganda! Woohooo!
Last week, before leaving, I was an emotional mess. I was terrified about going to a completely different place, terrified about travelling alone and sad to be leaving friends and family behind. I’m pleased to say I feel a completely different person this week. God definitely answered prayers for peace on the journey here and over the first few days, which I’m incredibly thankful for.
I said my teary goodbyes to my parents early Monday morning at Heathrow airport and boarded my first plane of the day to Brussels. After the 45-minute flight, I arrived and had the mission of finding the next gate for flight number 2. Once on board the second plane, I cheekily tried and failed to get upgraded to first-class and then settled myself down ready for an 8-hour flight to Kigali, Rwanda. Right before leaving, I managed to burst a yoghurt all over me and I spent a lot of the flight watching and rewinding the film ‘Inception’ in an effort to understand it (I still don’t get it). But other than that, the flight was pleasant. I read, prayed, ate and slept and before I knew it, I had landed in Rwanda. Upon arriving, a load of people hopped off the plane, a load of others hopped on the plane and a team of airport staff with hoovers appeared and vigorously cleaned around the remaining passengers as we waited for our third take-off of the day.
After an hour, we were off again and after 30 final minutes of flying, landed in Entebbe, Uganda! I followed the crowds into a tiny, very warm airport where my yellow fever certificate was checked and after a while, my visa sorted (things don’t seem quite so efficient here.) I was really nervous – I was outnumbered and unnerved by the staring locals. My picture on my visa isn’t the best but my worried expression definitely sums up my initial feelings as I got to Uganda. Once I’d collected my bags, which thankfully all arrived safely, I wheeled my trolley out the airport and was greeted by Chris, the dad of the missionary family I am working with over here.
Finally, the home-stretch – the drive from the airport to Namugongo was mad. I get nervous enough driving on the lower-Luton road in the dark but the roads here are something else. People here just kind of drive wherever they like. We drove along a dual-carriageway type road most of the way from Entebbe. A lot of it was unmarked, there were dogs running and people walking on roadsides, ‘bodas’ (motorbikes) swerving about with no lights at all, kids sat on top of trucks and huge lorries hurtling towards us with their high-beam on! We kept having to slow right down and pull right over to avoid being hit!
When we got to the house, Chris showed me to my room, where I’ve been staying and where I will be for the next few days – it’s super! There are lots of cool pictures everywhere and a big double bed with a mosquito net I’ve been getting used to. I fell asleep to the chirping crickets and after a few hours, awoke to a very noisy cockerel (who I’ve also been getting used to) and some wonderful singing birds, ready for my first full day in Uganda.
Thanks for reading, I’ll write again soon.
Love from Laura