After two days of traveling, we made it safe and sound to our hotel in Kampala. A 13 hour flight, 12 hour lay-over, 7 hour flight, and 1.5 hour drive later, exhausted, the 8 interns exchanged money, bought phones and Sim cards, and ate dinner at the restaurant at the hotel.
During our extended lay-over in Dubai, we went on a two-hour night tour of the city. The architecture was magnificent and they seem to have the tallest and largest everything in the world. We saw Atlantis Hotel (largest hotel in Dubai with an aquarium inside. The cheapest room is $500!), Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world at 828 meters), Burj Al Arab (tallest hotel, located on strip of land in the sea), Palm Island (largest man-made island), and Dubai Mall (largest mall in the world with 1200 shops) to name a few of the highlights. The hotel, transportation, dinner, breakfast, and refreshments were all complementary through Emirates; we just had to make a reservation in advance.
Flying into Entebbe, Uganda looked so green, a lush, rich green, with brown roads splitting an abundance of trees interspersed with houses. It feels wonderful to be back in Africa, though in a different region from Ghana where I studied abroad two years ago. I am very excited for the next two months and the experiences I will have and share. I'm looking forward to arriving in Katosi tomorrow. Kampala is a bustling city with a population of 1.2 million. It seems the road on which our hotel is located is never quiet. Thursday night there was a comedy show across the street and this morning I woke to the sound of car horns and vuvuzelas.
Yesterday morning we went to the Katosi Women's Development Trust (KWDT) office for an orientation of the organization. Kristen and I will go to Katosi Sunday morning with George, dropping Njeri and Georgia at Kyetume on the way. Rehema and Vaal, two lovely ladies who work for KWDT, gave an in-depth presentation of the background and goals of the organization, as well as their expectations of the interns. The afternoon consisted of an extended nap and a walk around the city. We saw the Parliament Buildings, Independence Monument, Rwenzori Court, City Square, upmarket hotels, the police station and bus station, looping back to our hotel.
Surprisingly, I haven't heard many "muzungu" calls, a welcome relief, whereas in Ghana "obroni" was shouted constantly. Muzungu and obroni both mean white person or foreigner in Luganda and Twi respectively.
More to come after my arrival in Katosi!