Written by Sanne Schouwenbourg Challenges Worldwide ICS Team Leader in Uganda
I can still not believe that I am in Uganda. I am finally in Africa!
Over the last 5 days I have traveled from Guernsey, through France, Belgium and the Netherlands to Germany to visit my mother who was a weekend away, back to the Netherlands to drop off my dog, to see dad, to repack, and then traveled to Amsterdam, where I had to say goodbye to Patrick – the one who has been so incredibly supportive during my preparations, and who I will miss most. I hate goodbye’s. From the Amsterdam Airport I flew to London, where I met up with Donia (my fellow UK Team Leader) Hello Donia!!! and together we flew from London to Dubai, and from Dubai to Entebbe, only to discover that I had lost my luggage somewhere on the way.
I filled out the luggage claim forms at the airport, accompanied by a guy from Uganda who I met in the airportbus named Myco Chris – who happened to be a celebrity – and who had also lost his luggage, along with 20 others. Nadina, our regional manager, was outside waiting for us, together with mr Kai, the driver. As I had already been in contact with Nadina before arrival, it was lovely to finally meet her. She seems dedicated, efficient, knows her way around very well and looks like she is possessed by happiness. I love spending time with happy people, who doesn’t?
After the pickup we drove to the nearest mall to register our new sim cards. This only took two hours, and provided us with a special gift – a little necklace with a picture of the pope on it. Weebale Nyo! [Thank you very much]
On our way to our new home we got stuck in the same traffic that Nadina had already been stuck in on the way to the airport. Traffic is mad in Uganda. I am sure everyone is supposed to drive on the left, but I am seeing Mutatu’s (mini van taxi’s), motor bikes and other traffic everywhere. While the driver was trying to keep moving forward, I was very busy observing Ugandan life in and around the traffic.
My first impressions are somewhat as I had imagined: hot, chaotic, friendly people, motorcycles transporting everything from hundreds of eggs piled up to entire pigs, I see lively people and colours, pickup trucks filled with rifled soldiers, smells of barbecue, and women with beautiful hair, wearing colourful fabric, who are wagging along the road, showing off their stunning figures.
Somehow these roads reminds me of the busy straight roads in Cambodia, surrounded by green, shops on both sides, people walking around, many people, busy people, and honking traffic.
In my next post I will tell you all about meeting the two In-Country Team Leaders (ICTL’s) and my new home for the coming 3 months!
Sanne writes for her own website as well as for Challenges Worldwide followers, We will be updating you here about all of her experiences leading the Challenges Worldwide ICS team in Uganda, but if you would like to know more about Sanne please visit her website.