Well, I shall finally begin my journal adventure for Medical Mission 2019. I don’t think I’ve ever waited this long to get started. But such is life this year. I am sitting on the porch of The Father’s House, just outside Bombo. It’s up on a hill with a view of the countryside all around There are periodic spats of lightning punctuating the now dark sky. But the breeze is cool-ish and it is just lovely. It is nice to be off an airplane and on terra firma.
The flights to Uganda were mostly uneventful (which is a great thing). Ali Niroomandi’s sister-in-law blocked out the seat between me and Danny – so we had a row of three to ourselves. That….made my day. And that flight. Sixteen hours with no one right next to you is amazing.
I didn’t watch too many movies – really just one in its entirety. Then I kept falling asleep through the second movie and just turned it off eventually. I may have slept. Or I may not have slept. The odds are more on the “I slept some” side – but it wasn’t restful, but the dreams were colorful. That’s the only reason I know I slept.
Just back from my first warm and amazing Ugandan shower. I have mastered the bucket and cup technique and I have to say that it feels amazing. To be clean is so refreshing. Of course, I had a nice one (actually two) in Dubai, but it’s a long and sweaty ride out to Bombo. Not that I remember it all that much. But that’s a different story.
The only “hiccup” in travel was getting into Dubai last night. Emirates moved our hotel to the Hilton Garden (I guess the airline has plenty of customers). But I had just booked our loan female (on her first trip to Uganda) in the hotel attached to where we usually stay. I try really hard to finagle things around, but it was no use. So the guys went out to the Hilton. Didn’t know where it was – but it was the longest ten minutes I’ve ever spent in a shuttle bus. We got there and there was no way we were going to get checked in quickly. No way. They said we could go to dinner and come back later to register.
But I still wanted the Beirut Lounge (across the street from where we are supposed to stay and where Claire was). So I made an executive decision. Bryan summoned an Uber, and since we hadn’t checked in and had all our stuff with us – we (I) decided we’d just go the Millennium and book two rooms for us guys so we could all be together. I mean it’s not much money ($50 maybe) and I’d sleep better knowing we were all together with a belly full of Lebanese food in our tummies.
Of course, you can’t get the cheap rate at the desk at the hotel, so we booked online. But my internet was terrible, so that added about half an hour to the process. But we got into our rooms (deliciously ice cold – it was 104 outside and past 9:00 by now) and then took a jaunt across the street to the Beirut Lounge.
That meal was worth the inconvenience. I know a little bit about ordering Lebanese food, enough to make us all thrilled with the meal before us. It was wonderful. After airline food (and Emirates is better than most) it was amazing.
We waddled back to the hotel for a shower and sleep. The bed was lovely.
We were down in the lobby before 7:00 am for the five minute ride to the airport. All normal. All fine.
Flight was late in leaving, but they made up all but about 10 minutes of it. Pretty cloudy over Uganda, which made for lots of bumps. You could see where it might be raining (or the burning of trash on closer inspection). But we obviously landed safely. They didn’t unload thru the back door – so we had to wait probably 45 minutes in passport control. The new e-visa works well. Not sure their computers are all that fast, however.
But we made it through. All the luggage made it to Entebbe and then onto our carts (I didn’t lift a single one….that was nice). Alex and Morris and Vincent were waiting just outside the terminal. Those are always some amazing faces to see.
They are building a multi-story parking garage in the parking lot right now – so getting out of the airport took some patience. Bishop Alex has plenty.
We stopped to exchange money at the Entebbe mall. Then we were on our way again to Bombo. Well, to our housing for the evening. It really poured on our way. Even some hail. But I was miserable. I just couldn’t stay awake for anything. I thought I was doing well, but the car ride proved otherwise. The bypass road around Kampala is wonderful. It is open, but they are not charging the toll. Yet.
There was more traffic once we got off the bypass road. But boy did it pour. It was amazing. But I still slept some. We arrived at The Father’s House before 6:00 pm. The rain had moved on to somewhere else in Uganda. But as we sat around on the porch we could hear the thunder and see some lightening. It’s a glorious time of day.
Had chili and cornbread for dinner – Ugandan style. It was delicious. The “kids” have all now gone to the shower I guess. I’m alone out here. The crickets are loud, and I can hear the traffic far below me. It’s one of the best times of day in Bombo, besides, it’s time to head to bed….for as long a sleep as I can muster. Alex will pick us up at 9:30 in the morning, so we can take it a bit easy for once. The next ten days will be intense, so a little morning of leisure will be nice. We only have two nights to enjoy this view, so I will soak it up. Set up begins in earnest in the morning.