WOOHOO! I finally get to blog. So much has happened and I wish I could say it all, but I can’t. So let’s start with some highlights.
The trip from Omaha, NE, USA to Entebbe, Uganda, Africa was so long. Nothing could have prepared me for 29 hours straight of traveling. But I survived. We spent 8 hours in a bus the very next day getting from Entebbe to Lira, but fortunately the sights were amazing. We traveled through Kampala en route, and it was amazing. Words cannot even being to explain. One of the first things I struggled with was seeing men with guns everywhere. Including outside both of our hotels. And taking pictures of military and police is strictly prohibited (punishable by jail time). During our bus ride, we got to drive over the rapids of the Nile, and of course military was stationed there. Lame, right?
Back on track. We’ve been in Lira for 2 days now. If I tried to write everything we’ve seen and done, I would seriously never finish. Instead, I will share a special experience from today.
We had the opportunity to interview Mama Angelina at her own home in the jungle (seriously) of Africa. And, of course, it started pouring right as we pulled up. Fortunately, I did my share of filming earlier in the day, so I was just a soaking wet spectator. And the bugs. Oh my goodness, the bugs. Soaking wet covered in insects. And I have a debilitating phobia of bugs. Then, I had to go to the bathroom. Since I had been properly hydrating myself (you’re welcome, parents.) Mama led me back to the bathroom with Aurelia. When I swung open the door of the latrine, it fell off the hinges. Awesome. Then I hear Aurelia state, “Well, this is clean!” (completely serious). I peered in, door in hand, and came to the realization that there was no toilet. There was a hole. I successfully used the hole in the ground while laughing and crying simultaneously. Yep.
Mama had collected mangoes, and so our class, the African men we had brought with us, and Mama ate fresh mangoes, in pouring rain, in the jungles of Africa, surrounded by swarms of insects. Legit.
The interview with Mama was conducted outside. It was very wet and beautiful. Her kind smile and heartfelt message warmed all of our hearts, even in the cold rain.
Although all of the aforementioned was memorable, the bus ride home took the cake. We piled into the bus – 17 Americans, 9 Africans, and easily 75 freshly picked mangoes. As we drove through the jungle back to the main road, we found ourselves all (I do mean everyone) belting out Justin Bieber’s, Baby, bottles of pop in hand, speeding on a dirt road past villagers working outside their huts. Pure joy is priceless.
Every day I’ve been here I’ve said, “This is the most amazing, irreplaceable moment I will ever experience.” Keep ’em coming.
PS This is what the alphabet would look like without Q and R.
PPS If I find a bug zapping tennis racket, I’m never leaving this place 🙂