Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Few Days

I arrived in Entebbe Uganda at around 9am and was picked up by some SIT folks with around 9 other kids who were on the same flight. We then drove an hour to Kampala, the capitol. Kampala was crowded, but surprisingly a lot more efficient than I expected. I think since Bangladesh is still fresh in my mind I keep referring back to it when I look at the infrastructure or cultural differences. I am realizing how messed up Bangladesh actually was after being here for a few days. Uganda is obviously not incredibly well off, but it is worlds better than Bangladesh. For example, cars move for ambulances and police cars and cars obey some sort of traffic law. People are much more willing to come and say hi to you, and they are also much more willing to smile. There aren't as many gender disparities in Uganda and people stare much less. I also have not been asked for money yet. Bangladesh had this weird class difference where there was extreme wealth right next to extreme poverty. This allowed for us to stay in a really nice guesthouse with AC, full shower/tub, warm water, generator, and washing machine... these things aren't here. Here there are no Sheratons next to really impoverished villages, it is way more balanced. I would much rather take cold showers and have spotty electricity and no wifi for this different mindset. Here there are phrases like "African Time", which means (for example), food will come when food comes, no need to rush. Money isn't constantly on one's mind. I have only been here for three days and maybe this will all change, but I thoroughly am enjoying this different pace.

Anyways, back to the trip... I am in Gulu now and arrived last night. We took a bus from Kampala to Gulu, and it unfortunately broke down. SIT was pretty amazing and tracked down two taxi buses and strapped our luggage to the top and we were on our way within 20 minutes. On the drive we saw the Nile and a lot of baboons. Baboons apparently are the vultures of the land which I was sad to hear about because I thought they were cute. We are staying in a hotel until Saturday when we will be picked up by our host family from the hotel. The weather here is beautiful. I sleep in pj pants and a sweatshirt. During the day it gets pretty warm and rains a little. I absolutely love the weather. So far so good.

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