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RN volunteer trip to Uganda

Goodbye comfort

UGANDA | Sunday, 2 October 2016 | Views [263] | Comments [2]

I have made it to Africa! After over 24 hours of traveling I landed in Entebbe where I was met by Doctor Basil and his wife, Doctor Alyce. The first thing that hit me as I exited the airport was the smell, you would think it would be putrid and rotten, instead the air smelled like peat fires. The kind of fires you smell burning in homes in Ireland. It’s funny how our senses can have an immediate and large effect on our emotions. I will admit to some trepidation about this trip, and then as soon as I smelled that air I felt calm and comforted. It was 11pm when I got to Entebbe and we started our trek to a hotel in Mukono. Most of the drive was through the two cities of Entebbe and Kampala. Every other vehicle on the road was a motorcycle, sometimes with up to 3 men on it. At times these motorcycles were parked and the owner stretched out sleeping on the seat. Police trucks were scattered through the city with about 6 officers sleeping in the bed of the truck. The cities were buzzing with music, and smells from the food being cooked by vendors. I was pretty amazed to watch all the people out for a good Saturday night; although it was a “clubbing” night, only a select few women wore revealing clothing, all of the men appeared dressed in nice attire. Each man had a crisp T-shirt on, a button down or a polo, every single man I saw had pants that did not fall below their waist. The appearance of the cities here is exactly what you would expect, all the buildings seemed to be collapsing and worn out. I was amazed to see a scattering of a few large, modern buildings. This gave me a little American dream of a cozy hotel waiting for me.

 

Basil had told me that last night I would be staying in a nice hotel that has breakfast and Internet. I immediately pictured an American hotel with a large tub that I would soak in after the traveling and a fluffy bed in a quiet room. I began planning on washing my dirty traveling clothes in the nice tub I dreamed up. We arrived at Mukono Resort Hotel and were admitted entrance by a guard at the gate. Basil got me situated with my room key and then he and his wife started walking me to my room through a series of outdoor cement tiled hallways. When we got to my door I noticed I was on the street side where you could hear all the cars and music thumping, my dream of a solid sleep started to vaporize. When Basil opened the door he and his wife brought my luggage in and then Alyce started prepping the room while Basil gave me a “short” orientation; they appeared in no rush to drop me and go. He made me show him that I could lock and unlock my door, and then pointed to the bathroom… the toilet seat was inlaid in the floor of the shower. My dream of a tub soak and washing my clothing went down that toilet. An image of me getting up in the middle of the night to use said toilet danced through my head, me walking in, my foot falling in to the toilet and my head meeting the back wall. Alyce then starts placing a mosquito net around my bed and instructs that I should not stay anywhere that does not offer one. This is when I notice the three cement bricks near the roof that have decorative cut outs for ventilation that lead straight to the outdoors with no screen. The bathroom window has bars on it and should also remain open for air to come in…. there is no fan in the room to keep a body cool. There is also a 4 inch separation between the bottom of the room door and the floor, just a friendly way to say hey mosquitos come on in and lets play!

 

So begins the adventure!

Comments

1

don't let those bed bugs bite!

hooked into to your adventure, look forward to hearing more

  max Oct 4, 2016 3:33 AM

2

don't let those bed bugs bite!

hooked into to your adventure, look forward to hearing more

  max Oct 4, 2016 3:33 AM

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