June 27, 2013
I am spending the next month volunteering at a local grassroots nonprofit organization called Arise and Shine Uganda (AASU) based out of Jinja. AASU aims to provide education, health
My journey to Uganda was rather interesting, considering that it is my first real solo trip and I arrived late at night. I’m not going to lie, I have been extremely nervous and paranoid the few months leading up to this. I found the organization through the University of Sydney’s job opportunities web
After a 24-hour layover in Johannesburg, I made it to Entebbe around
I was still a little shaken from my layover in Johannesburg. It seemed like everybody was trying to “help me” with my bags and or take my money. I ended up getting ripped off by a guy who simply pointed me in the direction of the hotel shuttle bus area and then told me I owed him and his friend each $50 Rand for their assistance, I told them I didn’t have any money, and they followed me for a few minutes and then grabbed the money out of my hand after I went to an ATM to get money for myself.
Now that I’ve settled in after 2 days in Uganda, a couple of things have happened. Firstly, I am quickly falling in love with this country! Secondly, I am learning what it means to be on “Africa time,” similar to island time = always late or no real concern for time. Thirdly, I’ve realized motorcycles are not as scary as they seem. Everyone uses motorcycle taxis or “boda-bodas” to get around here (sometimes even with 3 passengers), and they are quite fun!
There are also Matatu which
Unfortunately, I’m also learning how difficult it is to find gluten-free food here ( I have Celiac Disease), but so far I’m making do on fruits, vegetables
Finally, I’m experiencing truly being a minority and constantly being reminded of it when all the locals constantly call me “mzungu” (white person). Although it’s in a friendly manner and it’s really cute when the kids say it.
Day one: I was quite disoriented and jet-lagged but still managed to do quite a bit. I had my first
Day Two: This morning I went with two other volunteers on a wild goose chase to try and sort out an educational workshop for family planning/ HIV for health day in the village next week. We started at TASO, and then were directed to USAID, then MSH only to conclude that we won’t have a drama group performing an educational workshop at the event.
I also went horseback riding along the Nile River and through some villages where all the kids shouted “Jambo Mzungu” as we passed by. The scenery was extremely beautiful and I even saw some monkeys!