The road to Kampala…

30 11 2009

…from Entebbe was an experience in extreme sensory overload.  After traveling 20+ hours, I met a co-worker of mine at the airport.  As I left customs there was a throng of people holding signs and yelling in languages I didn’t understand so I felt grateful to find the nice looking man holding a hand-written sign saying “Allison Frailich.”  I’ll blame it on the jet lag but I forgot that in Uganda they drive on the other side of the road so after a brief moment of confusion I headed to the left side of the car for the most extreme driving experience of my life.  The road was lined with people, cars, mini-buses stuffed with people, motorcycles and bikes all traveling in some sort of harmony known only to them.  Stopping in the middle of the road is common.  Passing cars while another car is coming the other way is expected and only acknowledged by a blinking of headlights.  The windows were open as there are no air or lights in my co-worker’s car.  The sound of music was ever present and the smells were rich with a tropical flavor.  There were people everywhere at 11pm on a Sunday night and the energy was invigorating.  We met my landlord at my new apartment and lugged my incredibly heavy bags to the second floor apartment.  There is a security guard at the gate who runs barefoot to open the gates when a car honks.  My apartment is nice and my roommates are very kind.  They showed me the essentials like where the water reserve is, how to get hot water and where to pour the water to bathe in a tub without a curtain, how to wash clothes in buckets and where to hang them to dry.  And most importantly, they showed me how to get on the internet from home!  I’ve been told it is spotty and really only works in one room but I’m grateful for the luxury.  I’ll write more about my first day at work in a while but wanted to get a post up as quickly as I could to let you know that I have arrived, am safe and am adjusting quite well so far!

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6 responses

30 11 2009
Jen N

Awesome Allison – I can’t wait to hear more! Jen

30 11 2009
Amy Brugh

How exciting. I would love to work with you when you return–on how to disseminate some of your stories to the folks with whom I work in the HIV community here in Minnesota.

1 12 2009
heather fruen

glad you made it there safely

1 12 2009
Sara

You made it! Great. I felt like I was there with you in your descriptions thanks for the vivid picture! Sounds Delicious! Love you and Miss you!

1 12 2009
Noelle

Sounds fabulous, and like an amazing experience so far. Thanks for writing all the details!

1 12 2009
Lindsay

Missing you already, Allison. Glad you arrived safely. Can’t wait to hear more.

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