Well, we spent over 19 hours on planes from JFK airport in NYC and made it to our destination, Uganda, safely. The only challenge is that Turkish Airlines forgot to put our luggage on the plane with us. Not a big issue if they have multiple flights a day, but that flight only comes in once every two days! So, no luggage until Thursday.
We did something intelligent before leaving, we packed a carry-on with enough clothes for a day or so. That allowed us to get through today without any hiccups, but tomorrow is a different story.
The trip from the airport to Kampala at 5 AM was one I will soon not forget. For those that know me well, I am not a good passenger. Add that fact to being in a strange country where they drive on the wrong side of the road with an aggressive driver on a two lane road with no median and you have discomfort! To say the ride was a bit stressful is an understatement. There were motor scooter and bike riders out at 5 AM and I could only imagine hitting one of them. Going back to the airport in 2 weeks will be during the day time, which is very good news!
We are staying with a friend, Joshua Kyallo pictured with Ilise and the kids. Joshua has been extremely generous allowing us to stay at his home just outside of Kampala. Joshua has a young man named Alex who watches the house and will do some laundry for us, but shopping might be on the agenda tomorrow for some new clothes!
Our day in Kampala was very simple today, with lunch at the Serena Hotel in the center of town. We were able to secure a local cell phone for communications and exchange some currency. Joshua hired a driver, named Amir Mohamed, to drive us around town. He took us to a mall to get some additional clothing and then to a local market by the National Theater.
Our kids love shopping at the local markets, but I must say that these markets seem like they could have been anywhere in Africa. I am looking forward to seeing the rural portions of the country and what those artists are able to create.
Tomorrow, Deb Plotkin will be coming down to join us and tour Kampala. We will be spending some time at the Turkish Airlines office trying to rectify the situation with our baggage, should be fun! If we get our bags on Thursday morning we will be leaving for Jinja (the source of the Nile River) and then off to Mbale, the home of the Abayudaya Jews before the end of the day. I will look to add some posts before we leave Kampala and head to the east and then northern parts of the country.