Leaving the airport in Entebbe, Uganda, last night was an experience all its own. It took a while for us to connect with the taxi driver sent for us, and when he finally found us and walked us to the car, I realized how dark it is here at night. Living in a city, I definitely take basic infrastructure like street lamps for granted. The drive from the airport to our hotel was something else, too. The road wasn't so much bumpy as it was dark. I asked our driver, Billy, why he kept flashing his brights every once in a while. "To tell them to take care," he said, "so that I don't hit them." I audibly gasped the first time we nearly hit a pedestrian.
After breakfast this morning, Dero and I went on the hunt for a power cord for his laptop. I found myself walking in his shadow, almost using him as a human shield (sorry, Dero!) against the traffic we were dodging in and out of. Watching local people cross traffic is not unlike playing Frogger. The fact that you drive on the left side of the car and road has thrown me several times. I found myself looking at the front passenger, rather than the driver, and freaking out that they weren't at all watching the road.
It's a pretty busy place, Kampala. People rush around like it's New York City; men on motorbikes park at corners, offering to take you to your destination; they hang out of van windows, hitting the side of the van and telling you to "ride in my van."
Aside from the occasional security or police officer being armed with a machine gun, something that is really jarring here are the Marabou Storks
. They are nearly to Kampala what pigeons are to Venice. Only, you sure wouldn't buy food to put on your arms and let them land and eat on you. These things are HUGE. Like, turkey-velociraptor huge. They hover like vultures, swoop pretty low, and nest in the trees that line the streets.
I believe Dero and I will be meeting up with some of our Heifer Uganda staff this afternoon. We're on Africa Time, so who knows when that will be. Pierre and the others arrive at 11:45 tonight, and tomorrow we'll really get going.