This past week Pete and I had the privilege of traveling to Uganda to look at many of our water projects there. Because of the generosity of our Board we were able to fly the 40 minutes and not the overnight bus which takes about 14 hours. Liz stayed behind because she was heading to Australia, so there was a lot to do to organise two totally different trips.
Going to Uganda was great for us. It’s been a long 5 months adjusting to life in Kenya and as they say, a change is as good as a holiday.
A holiday it certainly wasn’t.
We traveled long hours with our driver Rodney, who had been kidnapped when he was a child by LRA soldiers. We got to meet his dad as we drove around Northern Uganda.
Uganda and Kenya are like chalk and cheese in many ways.
The roads are way better in Uganda than in Kenya. However, Kenya is more developed economically. In Kenya you can get around $400 out of an ATM, in Uganda it’s only just over $100. Imagine when you have to pay everything in cash how many international bank fees you’re paying!
And Uganda is about 5 degrees warmer than where we live in Nairobi. One of those places that as soon as you’ve had a shower you are bathed in sweat again and ask yourself ‘Why did I bother?’
There was a real downside to going to Uganda and that was we had to rush from one place to another. Next time I would love to spend time just taking photos, especially of the Northern Ugandans. Of all the people I’ve seen in the world, I really love their faces. Their eyes are deep, they say everything just by looking at you. You see their pain, their history, their hopes.
For the first time we weren’t staying in $10 a night guest houses or hotels. Not that we went overboard but it was great to get a decent nights sleep without paperthin walls. Mind you, I told a friend up north that $80 was the most we were prepared to pay for a room, so he put us in a $15 place. It had no water or a door on the toilet, but it did have electricity, which was surprising.
We visited hospitals, schools, churches and remote communities. While I was there 18 months ago, it’s been 4 years for Pete, so he was really excited about visiting the friends we had made.
Seeing all of your hard work of organising water projects is a real highlight, but more so, meeting the people whose lives are changed forever. That’s why we are here in Africa, to change lives.
Uganda was great, but now it’s time to get back to work.