Sunday, January 15, 2012


It took me awhile to decide where I was going from Arusha due to continuing health problems.  My knee seemed better except on days I went up and down a lot of stairs or did a lot of walking on rough surfaces.  I was having a lot of dizziness, but that subsided for the most part after I stopped taking the doxycycline soon after I reached Zanzibar.  I may get malaria, but at least I can walk upright without hanging on to things.  

  I had a return flight to LA scheduled for January 16.  I had planned to go back to California before starting the WorldTeach program in Panama in February, but the Panama program is having trouble getting funding so may not be available.  I made the decision to apply to the International Volunteers Headquarters volunteer program in Uganda for that date about two weeks beforehand.  I found out about the program on the internet and applied the same way.  It cost $220 to register and $505 for the four week program, including airport pickup, room and board.  I changed my return flight to May 4.  My hope is that I will like the program and sign up for their program in Capetown for the last few months of my time here.  My air ticket is only good for one year, and I would like to finish everything I want to do here before I go, since it is unlikely I will return.

I flew to Entebbe airport in Uganda and was picked up by a taxi driver and taken to Sewalu Suites Hotel in the Kampala suburbs.  It is a nice place, though considerably downscale from my suite in Arusha and costs only $25 a night.  I had to pay for the three nights before my program officially starts.  I have a small room and bathroom.  The bed takes up most of the space and the shower is just a hose on the wall, typical of Tanzania bathrooms.  They do have wifi.

My second day, James, the program manager, arranged for a student to pick me up and take me to town so I would have an introduction to local transportation.  Isa Byena is a medical student who will do his internship next year then go to Canada for a residency in Internal Medicine.  We walked down the dirt road to the main road to catch the matutu, or minibus, to downtown Kampala.  We walked around downtown to Garden City mall.  I bought water, vitamins, and some new rubber flip flops.  We had lunch in a cafe where I got chicken curry and a coke for 35,000 Uganda shillings ($15).  I was able to get Uganda money from the ATM and also cashed in the rest of my Tanzania money.  My flight home is out of Dar es Salaam, but I may pay the $150 to change it to fly out of South Africa if I end up there.  They tell me the flights are already filling up for April/May though, so that my ticket currently has me changing planes in London and Dallas.  Hopefully my health will hold up so that I can stay.

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