Welcome to our blog. This is intended to be a collection of our thoughts, musings, experiences, pictures while we travel. We would love for you to share it with us whenever you have some time and we promise to try to keep it updated. We are just at the beginning of an 8 month trip, for those of you who don’t know. We are going to be volunteering in Uganda for the next 4 months with an organization that works in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. The organization provides lots of services to people in the largest slum of Kampala, including health care and a clinic. We are going to be helping with the clinic in some capacity….we’ll know more in a few days about what we will actually be doing.
here is the loose itinerary:
Nov 15 leave for London
Nov 19 leave for Uganda
end of March leave for Cairo
beginning of April leave for Israel
mid-April leave for India
mid-June leave for Thailand
end of June leave for Hong Kong
July 3 arrive back in Denver
total travel: 7 months 19 days
It has been a long journey to get to Uganda. At the end of October we left Oakland, CA and drove back to Colorado with a car stuffed to the brim with our wordly possessions. We spent a really fast week in Denver unpacking and then re-packing and prepping for this trip. Then a few days in North Carolina to see Guy’s parents, a wedding in Atlanta and off to London, England for 3 days where we got a chance to see the queen as she passed by on a procession to open the Parliament, saw a play, ate some excellent Indian food and enjoyed some English bitter. We tried to do London on the cheap, which is not so easy. Thanks to Rusha’s cousin Becky we had a place to stay, which helped. We saw many of the sites, and walked all over the city. We got to go to parliament and see the House of Lord and the House of Commons. Decidedly more pomp and circumstance than would ever be found in the US and we were lucky enough to hear the most boring speech imaginable about the need for stopping deforestation in Brazil. We spent much of our time minding the gap. We managed to avoid the rain in London….but we got some in Africa and will probably be seeing more rain for about the next month.
We woke up this afternoon, after sleeping 12 hours—our first real night sleep in weeks, it seems. It poured rain while we were sleeping and now the roads are wet with sticky, red-brown mud, almost like clay. The roads are pretty bad. Huge pot holes, bumps and the drivers are worse. They drive on the left side, but not many people seem to follow rules while driving. There are tons of motorbikes, boda bodas, which also function as taxis. Guy read a statistic saying that 5 people die each day in Kampala from accidents on these things. As many as 4-5 people will pack onto them, including mamas holding infants. We plan not to take a boda boda. The main mechanism for public transport are the matatas, little vans that function as taxis. We haven’t figured out if there are regular routes or stops yet. They get pretty packed as well and we took one but it didn’t really drop us off where we intended to go. Also there are people on bikes, people on foot, private cars and it is pretty chaotic overall, but fun.
Many people speak at least some English, as we are in the city. Uganda has over 50 dialects and none of them are similar to eachother so English is ostensibly the official language. In Kampala, the language Luganda is a common dialect and we have learned a few words: “oli oyota” means “hi, how are you?” and “webale nyo” means “thank you very much.” Oh, and “muzumbu” means ”white person” and it is used by pointing at a white person and repeating it several times.
We are settled into our apartment which is a 2 bedroom house with a nice kitchen. It is simple but functional and we are looking forward to knowing this place better. Tomorrow we will venture into downtown Kampala. When we figure out how to use this better we will upload more pictures.