Exiting through Entebbe

Trip Start Aug 19, 2012
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Uganda  ,
Thursday, December 6, 2012

We had 14 hours before our 4 am flight leaving Uganda.

What did we do?  We hired the same guy (Walter) who ran the boda boda tour Adrian went on in Kampala, to take us to some sights in Entebbe on the way to the airport.

Walter's a character, and we enjoyed his company as much as he did ours.  He kept us entertained the entire 7 hours he spent with us, and by the end of our time together, he even felt comfortable enough with us that he asked us for some advice about personal aspects of his life.

If anyone ever goes to Uganda, I recommend they go on a tour through his company.  It's affordable, safe, and entertaining.  We think he's going to go very far because of his entrepreneurial gift, charismatic personality, and overall zest for life.

Somehow, he managed to make even Entebbe entertaining for us.  We went to Reptile Village and the Botanical Gardens.  I know.  Sounds cheesy and touristy.  It is, but somehow, it was all fun.  Touching chameleons was a highlight for me, despite them feeling kinda weird.  They're super cute by the way, especially since the biggest one we saw was the length of my middle finger (smaller than I expected).

We even had dinner together at a surprisingly decent Italian restaurant, then headed to the very basic Entebbe airport, where we were grilled by a security person who decided to power trip on us.  This was followed by a completely unmotivated and incompetent agent at the airline ticket counter that didn't even manage to tag our bags appropriately. Totally soured our time at the airport.  Fortunately, we were able to access the airport lounge using Adrian magical Star Alliance gold status (thank you Star Alliance!), which reasonably resurrected our experience at the airport.  To be honest, it's his magical status that has kept me more sane on this trip after having been in so many airports.

In the end, our time in Uganda was an eye opening one.  It was challenging in many ways to be in a truly third world country.  I had the fortune of experiencing the "magic" of a truly blessed orphanage, then the "up country" but somewhat utopic life of living in an NGO compound in rural Gulu, then the urban and more frenetic but also slow moving irony of Kampala.

My hat's off to Uganda for overcoming such a difficult past, and gradually rising from the ashes.
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