Sunday, October 16, 2011

KIGALI, THEN HOME AGAIN


The night at Entebbe was not restful.  I was staying in a single story block of rooms apart from the main 4 story building.  Around 10 p.m. a man checked in next store and it was immediately apparent that the walls were paper thin.  He was very loud, ordering people around.  Then thankfully he went out, but around 2 a.m. he brought a girl back with him and it was VERY noisy for a couple of hours after that.  I got up at 6 to catch my morning flight.  Don't ever stay at the City Inn in Entebbe.

Entebbe airport is the site where the Israelis fought terrorists to release hostages in an airplane, made famous in a Hollywood movie.  They are still conscious of security here.  I had to get fingerprinted coming in.  There are big concrete barriers in front of the main building and on the road up to it, so that you have to walk from the parking lot up the hill to the departure area.  Actually, I would feel better if they did that at LAX, instead of just having speakers blaring "the white zone is for loading and unloading of passengers only."  There seems to be no shortage of people willing to blow themselves up in vehicles rigged up as bombs.

I took a taxi to Kigali city center, back to the Okapi Hotel.  I spent time putting pictures in my blog,  catching up on email, and doing laundry.  I had not expected to go to Uganda so I didn't bring my camera /computer connection so game park pictures will have to wait.

The next day rained pretty much all day so I relaxed.  I walked to the supermarket downtown when the rain let up a bit and bought some things you can't get in Ngara (pretty much everything there, but I was limited by what I could carry).  Besides food, I bought a belt, since I have lost so much weight my pants won't stay up.

 I found out that the hot water in my shower sprayed all over the place.  I asked to have it fixed and they said they would do it right away.  I thought it was done, but when I went to take a shower at the last minute I should not have been surprised that it wasn't.  TIA again (This is Africa!).  So I went home with no shower for 3 days and no hair wash for a week to find that our home had not had running water for 11 days!  At least most of my clothes are clean.

The trip home was uneventful.  I took a taxi to the main bus station then a Sotara Tours bus to Resumo at the border.  After crossing the border I got in a taxi to Benaco, the transfer point for Ngara.  After the transfer, we started out with only me and the driver in the front and two adults and a child in the back seat, but as we went on we ended up with 7 people in the back seat, 3 adults and a child, plus all the luggage, in the hatchback section, and 4 adults in the front bucket seats.  I was sitting half on the parking brake and it was difficult for the driver to change gears.  My seatmate was a retired teacher from a village near Ngara.  He was dressed in a suit and carried a briefcase.  He is 61, and told me the mandatory retirement age in Tanzania is 60.  I will be 60 next month, just before end of term, so I don't feel so bad about planning to leave at that time.  I don't think I could make it another term with this diet and trying to get back and forth to school in the rainy season.  The water and electricity situation is just another irritant.

Breana has been back at school this whole past week, but said it was a waste of time because there were very few teachers and students there.  The teachers go to other schools to monitor the Form 2 and 4 exams.  She and Lauren both got sick in Mwanza last week on their vacation, she with an intestinal parasite and Lauren with a bacterial intestinal infection.  Both are on medication and OK.  I was not sick during my whole vacation, except for a stomach ache from eating too much at Chobe, so I guess it was good I didn't go with them.

The day I got back, I saw on the news that Obama is sending soldiers to northern Uganda to catch some rebel leader!  I was just there and the state department website said the bad guys were gone.  What is the real story here?