Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year from Gulu!

After traversing the globe via Turkish Airlines (which by the way rocks!) I finally landed in Kampala the morning of Dec. 30th. I was actually happy that in my confusion about the time difference I had a extra day in Kampala to rest after going to bed literally when the rooster right below my hostile window started crowing at 5am.
My first day in Kampala was spent taking care of logistical things like exchanging money and getting a working in country cell phone set up. With the help of my good friend Jonathan we boarded a group taxi van and made our way to the VERY busy city center. Downtown Kampala is a maze of markets and vendors and everything in between. My favorite part was when Jonathan or Jonah as we call him led me down a steep stairway lined with vendors. From the top of the stairs you could see about all the tents that led into a SEA of taxi vans. He said "This is taxi park, it's were the taxis come to sell things or just take breaks". We saw and smelled everything from fried bugs (which really anything fried smells pretty good to me!) to fresh cut pineapple! It was highly nerve-racking to be walking around with about $900USD in my purse while hundreds of people passed me by and about every 20th person gave me a second look due to my stand out skin color.
I spent the evening meeting lots of members of Jonah's family including his two sets of twins (2 yrs and 8 months...soooo adorable!), the three generations of women that live in his compound (series of family houses) including grandma, mom and his lovely and sweet wife Jackie! Jackie cooked one of the best meals I have ever had in Uganda with a mystery meat that was slow cooked and sauced to perfection.

I arrived in Gulu and got to stop at my favorite church here, Gulu Bible Community Church. The Pastor opened his door and his entire face lit up when he saw me. It made me feel great that him and some others hanging around the church remembered me and all said "welcome back".
I am staying at a very nice guesthouse right around the corner from the church with two other American girls that have been here for quite some time and are truly LIVING in Gulu. We ventured out to buy basic groceries and while one girl (Naomi) carried a 5 gallon jug of clean drinking water I was left to cary the grocery bags including one with 20 eggs in it. This would not have been so exciting except for the fact that we took Boda Bodas (motorcycle taxis) back to home. I sat side sadle on the bike while hanging on with one hand in back and the other hanging on to all the groceries. I was quite proud that I made it with out falling off and without breaking a single egg!

The computer seems to be running out of power now and there is no electricity to plug in so goodbye for now and I hope you all have an amazing New Years!

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