After two stressful months of waiting on visa paperwork, on Friday morning I was on my way to the airport, bound for Kampala, Uganda. Two layovers and a touch-down later I was back in Africa. Landing in Kampala at night, the city looked like a sprawling cluster of dim lights in the dark- a far cry from the brightly lit cityscapes I left behind in Canada. But the view from the air is deceiving, when the sun comes up the city comes alive.
Let me back up for a minute and explain what I am doing back in Africa. Way back in January a friend was describing his work on development projects in Sierra Leone and Uganda and something just clicked. I had slowly drifted away from the idea of doing development work in Africa and all of a sudden hearing my friend talk reminded me of why I had wanted to do this in the first place and how happy it made me feel. So on a bit of a whim I looked into a pilot project a couple of master’s students form my department were starting. I would be with 8 other students from my university working part-time as an intern with a local NGO and taking classes at Makerere University in Kampala. Applications were submitted at the rest is history, leading to me being on that plane to Kampala.
When I stepped off the plane I took a deep breath and all I could think of was, “Mmmm smells like Africa.” The air was a little sticky with a faint smell of earth, exhaust, and something else (I personally think it smelled like maize, but that may not be the best description). It may not sound like the exotic jungle air people imagine, but for me it’s oddly comforting.
First stop was into the city to drop off my bags and then to meet the rest of the group who were out at a bar (as you do on a Saturday night in Kampala). It must have been the jetlag but I had an amazing time and managed not to even feel tired until my head hit the pillow sometime in the morning. Since then I’ve been adjusting to life in Kampala, getting over jetlag, and even managed my first day of classes (coffee was VERY necessary). The accommodations are great,, I share a house with four other girls and everyone seems to get along great, we even do family dinners.
There will be more pictures and stories to come, but don’t count on any regular communication… wifi is anything but reliable here- TIA (This is Africa).