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Reisverslag Welcome in Uganda
15 september 2016
Welcome in Uganda
Greetings from a very sunny Uganda.
I can’t believe I am already here for almost 2 weeks. Times flies here. A lot has happened in the last two weeks. Fortunately it are all really nice experiences.
The flight from Schiphol to Entebbe took almost 11 hours. So, we arrived a bit late at Entebbe, around 22:45. Our driver was waiting for us at the airport. The drive to Kampala took about an hour, but it was nice to get to see some of Uganda. We arrived at the hotel at midnight, so we went to bed directly.
The next morning we met with Taco Hoekstra, one of our colleagues. He lives in Kampala with his family, but we visited him at the SNV office in Kampala. After a short introduction, Taco took us out for lunch. We went to a small Indian restaurant, which was very nice and the food was delicious. After the lunch we got the chance to explore more of Kampala. We had our own driver, William, who showed us around in Kampala. One of the first things we visited was one of the larger churches in Kampala. Most people here are Christian and religion is very important for Ugandese people. After that we went to the Gaddafi National Mosque, the second largest Mosque in all of Africa. When we arrived there, I was required to wear a headscarf and a long skirt. We got our own personal tour guide, Ali. He showed us around in the Mosque and explained about the history of the Mosque. The Mosque was so beautiful! After we got the tour, we climbed one of the towers, which was more than 200m high, so that were quite a few stairs. All those stairs were worth it for the view you get at the top. After the Mosque we went to the local market, so our driver could buy some local fruits and vegetables and we got a chance to look at a local market. Although I think we were more looked at :)
After William dropped us off at our hotel we order some food, which was still Muzungu food. Muzungu means white person, we are called that by most local people. The people in Uganda are very friendly and hospitality is very important here. When I walked around in the city, everyone waves at you or talks at you. I feel very welcome and safe here.
When we woke up the next morning, we left very early to drive to Mbarara. The drive itself took up about 4 to 5 hours. The road was not very bad, some parts there were big holes in the road and the speed bumps are crazy here, but it was not as bad as I expected. When we finally arrived in Mbarara, we stopped by the SNV office where we will be working the coming 5 months. After a general introduction of the TIDE project, we talked a bit with some team members but since we were really tired after the long journey we left for our hotel; Little Woods. The hotel is very nice and has a huge bathroom, however the amount of bats you find outside in the trees is crazy, there more than 100 bats in all the trees. After a good night sleep, we met for breakfast with Taco.
Today was the first day at the SNV office, we arrived around 9 o’clock. After meeting a few new colleagues we had a meeting with Emile and Sylvia. After this meeting, I was asked to join Docter Paul on a trip to one of the Practical Dairy Training Farms called AGDI. On those farms, they organise different trainings for local farmers. Those trainings take 5 days and the farmers stay at the PDTF. This training was about nutrition and feeding. When we arrived, it was the last day of the training, so they were evaluating and talking about what they learned. Most of it was in the local language, but luckily Dr. Paul translated most for me. After that we had lunch with the farmers. The local food here is cassava, matooke, rice, peanut sauce with beef (very muscular). It was not bad, but Matooke is not really my favourite food. Matooke is steamed bananas, but it is quite dry and not really sweet.
After lunch I got a tour on the farm. This farm is one of the larger farms, this farmer had 60 cows. All cows are reared outside and have a huge amount of land to graze, it is not comparable to the Netherlands. Also, they still milk all the cows here by hand. The farm was really nice, but it looked like a Dutch farm in the 40’s. After we returned to the office, Douglas and Taco were already looking around for nice houses, since we are not going to stay in a hotel for 5 months. When they returned, we visited another house. This house was nice and already had most of the furniture, only the neighbourhood wasn’t very nice, so we said we would think about it.
The next day we went on a field trip with Emile and Sylvia. We went to an assessment of two cooperatives in Kenzo. This was totally different, most of the road was a dirt road, with almost crater size holes in the road. This was something to get used to, but in the end we laughed at it. When we arrived, the chair and host was more than 1,5 hour late, which is normal here. The meeting was nice to see, but for Douglas and me it was hard to follow, since everything was in the local language. After we finished we returned to Mbarara. About halfway all the red light behind the steering wheel began to flash and unfortunately the car broke down. So there we stood, hungry, no cell service and no transport. We were in the middle of nowhere and hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast and it was already about 4 o’clock. After was seemed like really really long, we finally got a car that came to pick us up. When we came back at the office, Emile mentioned that he also knew a nice house for us, so we visited directly. This house was really nice and very big, also it only costs 3 million Ugandese Shilling for 5 months (about €800 in total) so we decided we wanted this house.
I can finally say that the house is now ours and we expect to move in tonight or tomorrow, so that we can leave the hotel for Saturday. Most of the furniture was there, we only need a fridge and a stove. So yeah, that most of the thing I did during my first two weeks in Uganda.
I will try to keep everyone updated, but the power is often not working and the Internet is not always available but I will try!
Oh, it’s quite a long story, but thanks for reading!!
Foto's bij verslag (15)
15 september 2016 10:51 | Door: Eric de Vos
Hoi lieve Alissa,
Wat ben je in een mooi avontuur gestapt. Gelukkig zijn de eerste weken je goed bevallen en ben je goed opgevangen. Het is mooi om je eerste ervaringen te lezen. Deze week naar je eigen plekje toe verhuizen en aan de slag met je project. Geniet ervan ,pas goed op jezelf en succes met je stage.
Nattuurlijk missen we je maar door de goede verbindingen ben je toch dichtbij ons. xxxx
15 september 2016 14:54 | Door: Djim ockeloen
15 september 2016 22:09 | Door: Bo
Super leuk om te lezen meis!
16 september 2016 16:51 | Door: mirjam
Lieverd wat 'n leuk verslag, wat maak jij mooie herinneringen voor het leven! Ben trots op je. X Mirjam
19 september 2016 00:08 | Door: Naomi
Klinkt allemaal heel goed. Leuk hoor, geniet ervan. Time flies!