I am sitting on the porch of the Lake Victoria View Guest House. It is appropriately named. Sitting on a hillside, the house includes a majestic panorama of the lake on which Entebbe sits. Occasionally, we see a jet land or take off from the airport, reminding us that in roughly 10 hours, we will be on one of them.
I am not quite sure how accurate the maps are on the airplane, but they would have us believe we are straddling the equator. As we were travelling to the park, I saw one of the few road signs in Uganda. It said simply “Equator.” I suppose in some way this has been our “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”
Soon breakfast will be served and the final day in Africa begins. I look forward to being home. Though some in our group don’t fly well, I do and I’m even looking forward to the flight. What I dread are the layovers. Three hours in Entebbe before the flight (at least there is shopping there). Three hours in Addis Ababa, where the airport has the feel of a hangar, people are crammed into over-stuffed and under-ventilated waiting rooms and the best thing to do is sleep. Then after 12 hours in the air, just when we are so ready to be done, another three hours in Dulles. Kirsten and Valerie have already planned that time however. We will be back in civilization, which to them means a Subway and a Starbucks! 🙂
Before we moved from Kampala to Entebbe yesterday, we spent a few hours at the Craft Market. It is an open air bazaar where they sell various African crafts, but also clothing. It’s one of those places where you are expected to haggle. I actually don’t like doing so, because these people are so poor that I’m willing to overpay to maximize their profit, but I do it just because it is customary. I bought mostly clothes, but also a few soapstone carvings that I’m anxious to share with the family.
Then we moved to Kampala. It’s only 20 km, but it takes at least an hour because of “the jam.” That’s the snarled traffic of Kampala, which is a city the size of Atlanta with hundred of thousands of vans and cars, seemingly millions of motorcycles, lots of pedestrians, a handful of goats and cows … and not a single traffic sign or signal. I can’t begin to describe the intricate dance as cars wedge themselves into traffic, motorcycles weave their way through the snarl, and two lanes accommodate up to four vans traveling in one direction or another. It’s survival of the fittest.
We ate last night at the Airport Guest House. I love that place. It says to Americans, “You are no longer in Kansas, Toto.” The architecture, the grounds, the gardens, everything about it says you are now in Africa. As we ate, we learned that Sam, on of our young friends with God’s care ministries, has some form of kidney disease, though he was understandably reluctant to share much info. My heart swelled to think we had come all this way to help at the medical clinic and pray for hundreds of patients, and here was one of our own fighting such a serious battle. I asked Sam to kneel by one of the lanterns suspended from a tripod, and we laid hands on him and prayed. It may have been my last prayer for healing on this trip, but I think one of my most heartfelt. I truly want Sam to be well.
Well, it’s time for breakfast. I’m passing on the cheese omelet for something more adventuresome – pineapple pancakes. My son David would be jealous.