True Life: The Wild Thornberries

This has been such a crazy experience these last few days. Although our journey here consisted of 28 hours filled with plane trips and layovers, it definitely has proved to be worth it. I’ve experienced a lot these past few days so I’ll just go through a little run-through of our trip so far…

We arrived in Uganda late Friday and spent our first night at a hotel in Kampala. When our teachers told us we’d be staying in hotels this entire trip I was pretty excited because it seemed like we wouldn’t completely be roughing it… which was my initial impression of how this trip would go. Our hotel was not what I had imagined though. Zero air conditioning, three beds cramped in a small room, and mosquito nets hanging over the bed definitely take a little getting used to. These conditions don’t exactly create the greatest sleeping conditions but we’re making them work. It’s all part of the experience, I guess.

Saturday morning we all loaded on the bus and drove 7 hours to the town of Lira– the drive was definitely an experience. Since we landed at night we hadn’t been able to see Africa at all, so this was a great chance for us to  take in the sights of the different towns and the countryside. When our bus drove trough the towns everyone started at us. The majority of people seemed very excited to see us and very happy we were there. When we got towards the outside of Kampala, however, that mood seemed to change. One group of women were yelling at our bus to go while waving knives at us. It was a scary experience, to say the least, and really makes me wonder if we’re wanted here or not.

It was nice to finally get to our hotel in Lira after so many hours of traveling yesterday. That brings me to my favorite part of the trip so far: the Ugandan children. We went on a walk around our hotel and there were a ton of them playing. They were so friendly and just came right up to us which is something you won’t usually see in the states. We walked with the and took a lot of pictures which they LOVED. Seriously, whenever we started to take pictures they ran up to our cameras and got so close to it you could pretty much only see one child in the photo. They kept making funny faces too which was even more adorable. My mom wants me to bring an African child home with me and at this point I’m seriously considering it. 

Today was our first day of shooting! We went to a 1.5 hour church service and then interviewed the Bishop of Lira and the head of a Lira radio station. The church was absolutely packed during our service and the Bishop said that our service was only one of the five they have each day which is crazy. It really made it obvious to me that their entire community is focused around the church, which is a very cool thing to see. Church was very warm, but a good experience. It surprised me how much their mass paralleled with one of our Catholic masses back home. After church and the interviews we played some intense games of UNO, took a tour around our hotel, and had a little dance party with some African dancers…guess I can cross that one off my bucket list too.

Some things I’ve figured out from this trip…

  • I really like this place so far.
  • After seeing parts of the slums I realize how good we have it at home… seriously, most people have no idea.
  • I suck at filming.
  • Two weeks of minimal internet and no cell phone might actually be good for me.
  • I hate bugs.
  • I’m so fortunate to have a shower and air conditioning at my house.
  • I’m really grateful I’m not a picky eater.
  • Annnnd I want a mango tree.

Okay, thanks for reading (: Hopefully there will be more to come soon.


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