A few initial thoughts:
The sun is hotter here. Well, duh, we are closer to it, being only about 1 degree off he Equator, but still. for some reason I didn't imagine the sun itself actually feeling hotter for some reason. Secondly, as we made the drive from Entebbe to Jinja, I became certain that if I was making the drive myself, I would have a heart attack and die within the first five minutes. Technically, you are supposed to drive on the left side of the road, but in the traffic in Kampala (Uganda's capital city) people drive by their own rules. Or ride their bikes. Or their motorcycles. Or walk. we even saw one guy rollerblading down one of the paved streets, going just as fast as the cars around him. Thirdly, I expected the people, culture, buildings, etc., to not be how I expected them to be, if that makes any sense. What I mean by that, is after being so exposed to different cultures through TV, movies, books, and other forms of media, we get a picture in our minds of how people live in other countries. And usually, it seems, that picture is wrong. No, people do not live in teepees on Native American reservations. In Germany, the men don't all wear lederhosen and the women don't all have their hair in braids wrapped around their heads. But here you really do see people riding down the street on their bicycles with enormous bundles of something that was once growing balanced on the back. Here, many of the houses really do look as if they are made of mud and sticks, and the dirt is so red it will stain your shoes.
Today was our first full day in Uganda, and, unlike yesterday, we all made it until after sunset before heading to bed. It's about 9:00 pm here. The adjustment between time zones has been tough for everyone, and naps have been plentiful. Hoping that we all get accustomed in the next day or two! The layover in London was long (nine hours), and the plane rides were even longer, but it was definitely worth it. We arrived in Entebbe yesterday morning, and were greeted by Pastor Robert, Peter, and a few others. We then made our way out of Entebbe, through Kampala and Jinja, and here to Robert and Sarah's house, and the Nile Guest House, where all the women are staying. We had a late lunch, discussed plans for the week, and then most of us headed to bed shortly after. Today we all met for breakfast here at the guest house at 8:00, before walking over to Robert and Sarah's house for a morning devotional and to begin our work. The guys went into Bukeeka to sit in on a parent meeting at Fountain of Hope school, and then went to buy painting supplies for the kitchen project we will be doing. Meanwhile, the four of us women and Sarah stayed back to sort through all the suitcases full of things for the community (about 28 or so).
When the men returned, we put together bags for each of the teachers at the school, and then had a wonderful dinner of rice, pineapple, watermelon, beans, fried fish, and a kind of flat bread which I promise to learn the name of! After dinner, we had a Bible study on James, and then headed back to the guest house. It's so strange to be in an area that has so little of the technology we are used to, and yet to hear cell phones going off, or to come back to our room and be able to use the internet. I think it is time to go to bed now, though. We've got another long day ahead of us. It will be fun to experience a church service here!