Sister Parish Visiting Delegation:
Days 1 & 2 – Bremerton via Seattle and Amsterdam to Entebbe and Ggaba, Kampala, Uganda
Our Ugandan Adventure began with a blessing at the 8:15 a.m. Sunday Mass at Our Lady Star of the Sea followed by a very brief send-off at Sea-Tac Airport. The first hurdle in our trip was a delay with our first flight. First there was a computer issue, then we were waiting for one of the pilots to arrive. We were about two hours late out of the gate. Having made up some time in-flight, we were able to make it off the airplane at Schipol Airport with about 15 minutes to reach our gate. Unfortunately, at the airport in Amsterdam, you must go through security before boarding. But we were immediately greeted at the plane by a very friendly, reassuring, and helpful crew. Our flight out of Amsterdam was also delayed, but we somehow managed to reach Uganda on time. Unfortunately, our checked baggage didn’t arrive with us.
Fr. Justus Kiiza picked us up from the airport and drove us to Ggaga (Kampala) where we stayed at the Tumusime (“let us thank him”) House run by the Daughters of Mary and Joseph and were greeted by Sr. Hedwig. We were invited to a lovely tea and were served a nice salad of shredded cabbage, shredded cabbage, sliced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, and sliced red onions, bread, and a fruit salad made from mangoes and white grapefruit. We finished our tea about 2 a.m. The end of a very long two days. Exhausted and thankful!
Day 3 – Ggaba, Kampala, to Rushuroza, Kabale, Uganda
Our first morning in Uganda began early. Fr. Justus celebrated Mass in the Chapel at Tumusime House. In his homily, he talked about lifting our eyes to God and that the serpents in our lives often cause us to refocus on God. He counseled us to surrender our visit to God as it is He who will complete His work through us. Breakfast followed Mass. We enjoyed a simple breakfast of coffee or tea with bread, eggs, and sweet bananas. We collected our things and were off to find Flock of Birds. Flock of Birds is one of the retail outlets in Kampala that sells sandals made in Uganda and marketed in the U.S. and elsewhere by Sseko Designs (www.ssekodesigns.com). It took a few inquiries and we were just about to give up when we pulled into the Forex to exchange currency and, lo and beyond, there it was, right next door! We proceeded to exchange our currency and headed over to do a little shopping.
Our next stop was at the Equator Crossing, where we posed for a few iconic photos and enjoyed a little shopping. Next we made a stop at Welcome Masaka café where we would enjoy a buffet lunch of chicken, matoke, rice, beans, and greens and met up with Ssentume Julius for technical support. We borrowed an unlocked dual SIM cell phone, a half a dozen SIM cards from various carriers, and a modem with a data package. We would now be positioned to be a bit better connected to our friends back home. After lunch, our trip coordinator took a quick motorcycle ride with a friend to see if she could procure some AfriPads for Bushure and Nyakishenyi. Unfortunately, the AfriPads shop in Masaka Town was only set up for cutting and no finished products were available for sale, so we asked Julius to check with the site at Kitengesa. We would then make our way south, finally arriving at Rushuroza about 9 p.m.
We enjoyed a nice supper of chicken, matoke, rice, spaghetti, cauliflower, pineapple, watermelon, and a salad. We finished our supper about 10:30 p.m., spent some time unwinding and keeping our friends and families informed about our activities. Another long day.
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