After arriving at the Sunset hotel at about midnight, we showered off the sweat that had already collected on us during the short drive from the airport, tucked ourselves into our mosquito nets, and went to bed for the few remaining hours of the night. Breakfast was at 7:30 am and we got to enjoy our first taste of fresh bananas and Ugandan-made omelettes. Then we took time for our first team meeting, where we shared about our lack of sleep during travel and our excitement over finally being in Uganda. Following that, we packed up our bags, grabbed our fourth water bottles of the day, and set out to walk to the mall to find a SIM card for Professor Carl.
We almost didn’t have to walk, because Steven, in his usual friendly way, waved at a motorcycle – called a boda out here – shortly after we set out. The driver immediately turned around and came back to us, and we quickly realized that waving at a boda driver means you want a ride. Something I noticed during this walk is that Africa is very red. The dirt is red, the houses made of brick are red, and the tiles on the roofs are red. And Ugandans do not skimp on colour in man-made things either. Buildings are colourful and marketplaces are open to the street, with vendors displaying their wares. The walk was tiring though, because we were in the hot sun the whole time, so we decided to take a van on the way back to the hotel.
Just before lunch we got to meet Jonathan and Rachel Koski and their two children, Miriam and Max. They were very excited to welcome us to Africa and especially excited that we were going to Arua, because that was their home for a long time. We enjoyed getting to know them a little bit and hearing stories and advice from them on life in Africa. Our next undertaking for the day was to get from Entebbe to Kampala. It was about an hour drive and we got to stop at Lake Victoria for a bit. Unfortunately, there was no swimming because we were told we could get sick if we swam in the lake. We enjoyed the drive though, and arrived at the Papaya Holiday Home for our night in Kampala. There we relaxed for the evening before heading under the mosquito nets for our second night in Uganda.
Sunday, February 10, was another travel day. After another breakfast of omelettes and toast, we packed ourselves back into the van for the eight-hour drive to Arua. This was a long, hot drive, but with plenty of fun and excitement mixed in with the sweat. We got to see elephants, baboons, hippos, and antelope, as well as the Nile River! We also started a quote book, because we are realizing that we have a really funny team!
About twenty minutes from VTC, where we are staying during our time in Arua, the van overheated and a water pipe burst, so we sent a boda driver to collect a mechanic for us, who fixed the van and sent us on our way again. We arrived at VTC at about 6pm, where we were greeted by Karl and Rachel and moved in before walking to the Kruses’ house. We enjoyed a relaxed evening with them to close off our first day in the place we have been preparing for so long.
Some prayer requests:
- Continued adjustment to the heat and time change. Jet lag is still affecting a few of us.
- Good connections with all the people we are meeting.
Thank you for all your prayers as we learn about this unique blend of cultures!
– Alysia Thiessen –