I really need to wrap up the trip out of Uganda. I didn’t mention it in the last blog, but to understand the end of the clinic you need to understand an incident that occurred in Luwero on our way home. It was about half a mile or so from the hotel. We were exhausted. Excited to be done with a very successful mission. There was a traffic jam in town (not unusual). But we just sat there for quite a while (unusual). When we got going, there was a huge crowd gathered at the side of the rode. What we saw next will haunt me for a very long time.
Someone had gotten into an accident with a semi. He lost. And it was ugly.
After we made it back to the hotel, Pastor Alex called. He was coming for dinner and to say farewell….but one of his former teachers at their Donela School had been killed in a motorcycle accident. Are you kidding me? That’s what we saw. Wow. What a blow. It tempered any celebrations on Friday night. We were all so tired anyway.
The clinic was a very positive experience this year. The team worked really hard. And really hard together. It was great to watch unfold.
Anyway, on Saturday morning we bid farewell to nine of us as they headed north on safari. They were quite excited to be going (who can blame them, it’s a wonderful experience). When the guide showed up (Gerald, namesake for the office giraffe) he hugged and hugged and hugged and hugged me. No exaggeration. He was so sad I was not going on safari. So he hugged me some more. They left in two vans and in good hands.
I had about an hour before our breakfast (the others ate at 6:30). Noah and I paid the hotel bill, taking care of the big chunk of team expenses. At 8 we gathered together for our last breakfast in Uganda. Just as we started eating, Alex and Millie showed up. They wanted to touch base before we left the country. They filled us in on some details on the accident. They were so sad, and so were we. At least we know where the young man is – in the presence of Jesus. That is a real comfort.
Alex and Millie ate with us. Then there were lots of hugs. At one point, Alex took me aside and said, “Thank you.” It was sincere. It was from the heart. And really there was nothing more that could have been said. It was a moment.
After they left, I went back to my room (now lonely with no Danny in there with me). I checked on my packing. And repacking. I found this transition to be much more difficult that I had imagined. Emotionally. But packing-wise as well. On Friday night it was a bit overwhelming to me and I really didn’t feel organized or ready for what was to come. It was hard. Danny was working late editing the video for Sunday morning and I was stewing about packing. Oh, and doing a blog and picture uploads too. I finally went to bed just after 11. He was still working. Next thing I knew the lights were out and he was asleep.
Then, about 2:30 am my phone rang. I love the Trojan ring tone. But in a deep sleep it is loud and impossible to miss (unless you are Danny I guess). Before I could figure out what was going on (find my glasses and pick up the phone) it had stopped. Wrong number from Redondo. Great.
The problem was, that got me stewing again about the packing and the transition. And, the bottom line is that I never went back to sleep that nigh. So I didn’t get much sleep on Friday night. Bummer.
So after breakfast and re-packing, the 9 of left on Team Bombo put our stuff on the bus and headed out to Entebbe a little after 10. Our flight was at 4:20, so yes, this was a bit early. Everyone I asked said to allow 3 hours to get to the airport from Luwero. And you need a good deal of time to check in. I’ve been late before and it’s a nightmare. Especially in a terminal without much air conditioning (it was better this year, actually).
We made it to Entebbe in plenty of time. We were very early so there was no line at the counter. So we made it through a security check, check-in, and passport control in about half an hour. That’s a first. We had maybe three hours to kill. So we ate lunch.
There’s another story. I had two wads of 50,000 UGX (Uganda Shillings). One stack is 5 million. I had two, so….10 million. Plus a stack of 20,000 bills and a stack of 10,000 bills. So that should be 13 million shillings. The bill was just over 10 million. I should be great. One problem, I guess I had used some of the bills out of the 50,000 pile. Oops. So I paid the bill and tips, and I had 300,000 UGX left. That was now the budget for lunch.
And we spent every last shilling. I left Uganda without a single shilling. Lots of US Dollars, but no shillings. I left Dany (leading the safari team) with a bunch. So hopefully he’ll come home with some as a deposit for Mission 2020.
The rest of the day was traveling. Flight was on time. Landed on time. Smooth sailing all around. We got to our hotel about 11:50 pm. Now what to do? Beirut Lounge (across the street) for a great dinner. Or go to bed. I have a 4:30 wakeup call for my flight to Amman. So???
Lindsey, Hannah, and Noah really wanted to go to the Beirut Lounge. Jeremy and Bryan and Stacey opted for bed. Celia Lee joined us as well. She went and rented a car with a friend since she’s staying in the area for some vacation.
Dinner was delicious. The flight just arrives a bit too late to make it an enjoyable evening. But the food was good. I ducked out early and headed back for a shower and bed. Both were amazing (I sort of wish I had that bed for tonight).
I shall now officially transition to the Israel blog. If you’d like to know if I made it to Jerusalem (no surprise…I did), you’ll have to go over to that blog (www.easysite.com/israel).