Uganda (part 4). A little Africa fun
Our travel time to Africa was long!
Cedar Rapids to Chicago: 1 hour
Chicago to Amsterdam: 8 hours
( fun fact….the Amsterdam airport has a huge area that is a library with all types and styles of chairs, and a baby grand piano. All for weary travelers to pass the time during layovers) . (this would be a bad thing for my daughter….she would never make her connection…..it would pretty much be heaven to her!….books and a piano!)
Amsterdam to Kigali Rwanda: 9 hours .
(fun fact…..the flight attendants told us at the layover in Rwanda, “plastic bags are illegal here! If you have plastic bags, please dispose of them before leaving the airplane. You will be fined at customs if you have any plastic bags!”
Kigali to Entebbe Uganda: 1 hour
We had a wonderful week interacting with the locals and experiencing the projects that OHP supports. My previous posts focused on the things God wanted us to experience, ministry related. HE also allowed us the opportunity to see a few touristy things in the area.
OVERALL IMPRESSION :
Uganda is not much different than what I have experienced in Guatemala. Although the poverty is immense, the people are AWESOME! We were always greeted with warm smiles and fun handshakes. The general handshake we learned quickly…..it was a 3 step handshake…..pretty much impossible to describe in words!
One thing that really SURPRISED me was that I could READ every sign along the road! Uganda was once a British commonwealth, so the primary language is English! With that all the road signs and business signs….everything was printed in English! WIth that nearly everyone spoke English as well. Quite the opposite of my many trips to Guatemala….where i can basically smile in Spanish.
Motorcycles and Bikes:
If I had a dollar for every motorcycle and bike I saw, I could make a HUGE donation to On His Path! Motorcycles are everywhere….used as taxis! They were also used as delivery trucks. The bikes were also extensively used…..hauling big loads.
Uganda is located on the Equator. We had lunch one day at a restaurant where the equator literally ran through the dining room! They had a line painted on the floor! Of course the area was filled with souvenir shops!
Everyone visiting this location had to get a pic in the big landmark!
My favorite was the display where the attendant would put water in basins. The water would drain from a hole in the bottom of the basin. There were 3 basins. One ON the equator, one in the Northern Hemisphere, and one in the Southern Hemisphere. It was fun to observe the rotational difference from each. Each of the basins were about 6 feet from the one ON the equator. (some say this is a scam…..who cares….it was cool!)
Southern Hemisphere Basin
Northern Hemisphere Basin
The source of the Nile river.
This was pretty amazing! We went to the northeast corner of Lake Victoria where the lake meets the Nile River source. Lake Victoria is the 2nd largest freshwater lake in the world….behind Lake Superior.
We rode boats out to a little island at the point where the lake and the river meet. 70% of the river in the Nile comes out of Lake Victoria. 30% came from an underwater spring that we could see boiling up in the river! Once again….on that tiny little island…..we experienced another souvenir shop!
Where we loaded onto the boats, there was a park. at this park was a big display with a Statue of Mohandas Gandhi, with a story. Gandhi requested that when he died, he wanted to have his ashes spread at the head of the Nile….so his ashes could spread all through north Africa as it travelled 4000 miles to Egypt. His belief was that this would create peace throughout North Africa.
One extremely powerful thing i witnessed was on the flight TO Africa. On the leg between Amsterdam and Kigali, we flew over North Africa. Thankfully it was daylight! (our return flight was at night) . I happened to open the window shade and noticed we were over the SAHARA desert. This REDEFINED the word IMMENSE to me. For as far as you could see was SAND! And MORE SAND!
Literally the northern half of AFRICA is desert! Some would have looked at that and be reminded of movies like “Flight of the Phoenix” where a plane goes down and the passengers must survive the elements. Yes, I thought of the movie, but not in a fearful way. What my mind kept going to was THERE IS SO MUCH SAND! With that, I told John…..”see all that sand……God knows exactly how many grains of sand is out there!” That’s a big God!
How precious to me are your thoughts, o God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
The last morning, Bob and I went for a walk in the local market. I love the experience of being among everyday life when traveling. No tourists, no souvenir shops. Just normal life!
On the flight over the Atlantic, we passed over Greenland. That was cool. (pun intended)
That does it for the Uganda trip. What an amazing opportunity to see and experience it all! I am thankful for the Blessing to meet and experience so many great ministries on our adventure! What a Blessing to experience, first hand, some of the projects that On His Path supports!