Sunday, July 17, 2011

Uganda

Thursday, June 17 (written about lunch time)
I just woke up from four hours of sleep/listening to two of the other three guys in this room snore all night (one saws logs, the other one saws complete forests).  I need some sleep.  Late last night we flew into Entebbe, Uganda.  While we were still at the airport in Entebbe I realized quickly that they do things a little differently than in the US.  What tipped me off was the big African guy wearing a military uniform and carrying a loaded automatic rifle standing in the terminal telling us we needed to hurry up and move it along.  Yes sir.  After the airport & airplane experience, all I wanted to do was sleep.  I wasn't able to, hopefully tonight.  This morning we began our bus trip to Tanzania.  Breakfast was great, the morning "Call to Worship" by the Muslims--not so much.
Our room in the Emmaus Guest House, Kampala, Uganda
The Emmaus Guest House, taken the following morning
Loading up after the first night to head to Tanzania
 You can see it on TV, or read about it in National Geographic but until you see poverty like this in person, you're in for a culture shock.  All I saw for miles and miles [on the drive from the airport to our guest house] was people who have nothing.
We got to see the people of Uganda today.  I bet ninety-nine percent of them are destitute.  It seems that none of them have a nice thing to call their own.  They put three people on a motorcycle that barely holds one person, or pile seven people into a compact car designed for four.  Some of the people seem friendly, but that guy pointing his finger and saying things with an angry look on his face wasn't.  Those who ride motorcycles around here are brave.  They weave in and out of traffic with reckless abandonment.  It's crazy.

We stopped, while still in Uganda, at the equator.  That was really cool.  My favorite part of the stop was this really cute kid who looked like having his picture taken.  There were a few shops there and I found a few things worth getting: A necklace with the Ugandan colors, a coaster set that is hand-painted with different animals, and some kind of stone that was cut into an interesting shape.  I forgot what it's called, but I know the lady said it was a "love" something or other.
Some random guy.
This kid liked having his picture taken.

The other side of the road from where we were, interesting view.
Not too long after leaving the Equator, we stopped for lunch.
It left something to be desired.
Sarah ordered Fish & Chips, that's what she got!
I assumed the chicken I ordered would come with fries.  It didn't.  Nor did it come with chicken on the bones!  I think I got maybe three full bites of chicken from that huge chunk of bones.  Oh well, the waitress got me fries and a cold Coke!
Getting nearer and nearer

Somewhere on the drive to Kayanga
Same day-6:20 PM
We finally arrived in Kayanga, Karagwe, Tanzania, forty-eight hours after I left home.  I'm guessing, but I think our team has covered somewhere around 8500 miles.  That's quite a trek in forty-eight hours.  Update on our missing team members, they should be joining us in the next couple days!  Praise God!  I was so worried they wouldn't make it, and I'm so happy they are!
Unloading, finally!

Billy and Elias getting reacquainted (Billy came last year)
The people here in Kayanga seem very friendly.  It seems that they are happy to have us.  We got off the paved road a long time ago.  I'm surprised that there is a town such as this so far out in the woods.  Though it is a small town, they have as many things as the larger towns do.  This doesn't mean that they have the conveniences that we have in the US.

Tristan and his new buddy

Raegan and a few of the kids we would come to see regularly
Readying for our first night in our temporary home.

 To be continued...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Leavin' On A Jet Plane

It's been too long since I blogged, I'm very disappointed in myself.  I'm grounded.
For however many days it takes, I'm going to be blogging my entire experience from the mission trip greatest thing I've ever done.  I wrote a journal daily while I was on the trip.  I am going to record everything from that journal, verbatim, here.  I hope that if you read it, you feel like you were there.

Wednesday, June 15
I got to the airport early.  I always like being early, it's better than being late.  I expected to be able to check-in, check my luggage, go into the terminal and have time to relax.  Perhaps a nap, maybe explore the terminal even.  However, when I got there I was confused because I couldn't even find the airline's counter that I was supposed to be checking into.  If you fly American Airlines out of DFW, you don't have that problem, check-in whenever you please.  I supposed that flying Royal Dutch Airlines explains some...
I hung around the area that I was told I would be checking in.  Within a few minutes a girl came out from behind some wall and began setting up their "counter."  It wasn't too long before I was able to check in.  I went inside the terminal, ate, wandered around, and had a saleman try to convince me that I need $200 headphones--I don't think so.
Within an hour the majority of our group had shown up.  We were able to board without any problems and began our journey.
Ten long and cramped hours later our flight landed in Amsterdam.  Up to the point of boarding that flight the longest plane ride I had experienced was three and a half hours.  TEN HOURS?!?!  That is pure madness.  Our layover in Amsterdam was a couple hours long.  Therefore no time to venture out of the airport.
Though our stay in Amsterdam was short, trouble was able to find us there.  Somewhere between boarding in Dallas and standing in line to board in Amsterdam, one of our team members misplaced her passport.  She and the people who were sitting next to her searched through their bags, but it was to no avail.  After trying to see if it had been found somewhere, and finding out that she couldn't travel at all, Scott (leader of our trip) and his wife Leslie decided to stay with her.  They are going to have to go to the United States Embassy there in Amsterdam to straighten it out.  I have no idea when we will hear something, hopefully they're able to join us.