Sunday, July 3, 2011

East Africa Day 50 (Sat July 2): On the Road to the Uganda Invisible Children Office!

I didn’t get much sleep last night – was busy packing up all of my stuff, to take it with me to Gulu, Uganda today, to visit the Invisible Children Uganda office! Who would have thought, when I first became aware of the org, that I’d get to visit the Uganda office in the not-too-distant future!

I had called Richard, who works at the office, who Tom had introduced me to – the Michigan college student that I’d met in Jinja, recently. Richard invited me to the office on Monday for a tour. I also connected with Charlie and Annette, two Australians that I met at NRE when I’d first arrived, who have a friend, Nikki, who is interning at Invisible Children’s Uganda office for six months. They happened to be leaving Kampala for Gulu today, so I joined them for the trip. Perfect timing!
I met them at the Kampala Post Office this AM – this time allowing myself plenty of time to get there, so that I wouldn’t miss the bus! It was a longer ride than the ride to Fort Portal, but it was fun – one of the Post Bus employees on my bus had helped me with one of my previous Post Bus trips, and he remembered me – yep, I’m a fan of the Post Bus! I slept most of the way, but did notice that the scenery heading north towards the Sudan border where Gulu is located is flatter and more open than other parts of Uganda that I’ve seen, from the Post Bus windows:)

We arrived in Gulu in the early afternoon, and found our hotel which had been recommended by Richard. It’s hot up here – hotter than I’d expected. And unfortunately there are mosquitos, which I am now a little apprehensive about. I’m typing this from my bed, tucked underneath my mosquito net, with the windows closed as much as possible, even though it’s quite hot in here. Just say “no” to Malaria.
We went to a local restaurant for lunch, and then bought chapattis off of a street vendor. It was my first time buying street food in East Africa, and it might be my last – not feeling particularly good:)

Nikki was out of town with Invisible Children today, but will be back tomorrow afternoon. There’s an internet café across the street from the hotel – looking forward to uploading these backlogged posts to my blog in the AM! Aside from that, Gulu is a pretty small, quiet town from what we saw, walking around this evening. It’s a big change from Kampala, and even from Jinja! Reminds me more of Nanyuki, in Kenya – near Daraja’s campus.

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