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Leaving Uganda

posted Aug 18, 2012, 7:00 AM by jj pionke
I spent my last day in Uganda sleeping in, trying to finish up a few things on the computer, and packing.  Around dinnertime, I walked over to the Gately and bought a few items for people back home and then I walked over to Anna's and had some guacamole and pita chips and said goodbye to folks.  Luckily, one of the guys there with a car offered to give me a lift home and then to the airport.  We went to my place, I set him up with an ashtray, the remote control, and went ahead and finished packing and then took a shower.  I had just sat down to check my flight when the power went out so we just chatted for awhile and then the power came back on after about 30 minutes.  Checked my flight and online it said that my flight was leaving in a little over an hour, which was not the time listed on my itinerary.  There was a mad scramble as I through everything else together and we rushed for the truck.  Off we went, flying through Entebbe.  David talked us through the checkpoint before the airport, he helped me haul my luggage upstairs, and then hug and then I dashed through the second security checkpoint only to find out that no, my itinerary was correct, 2 hours to go until take off.  I checked my luggage - 19.7 kilograms!  23 kilograms is 50 pounds so I was nicely underweight thankfully.  Then more security and immigration and then waiting.  Since I had the time, I picked up the day's newspaper and read the continuing coverage about the marathon gold medal athlete.  Ironically, I would be arriving in Belgium the day he was getting back to Uganda.

My flight originated in Kigali so only about half the plane got off.  I helped a missionary couple and a few others find their seats (no English and illiterate for the most part) and we chatted while we waited for the plane to load with people, luggage, and food.  The woman missionary asked where my husband was (I've been wearing a ring on my left ring finger the whole trip - it's come in handy).  I responded that he was in Chicago.  She was rather amazed that I would leave him to go traveling around the world.  My response left her gasping for breath from laughter, "Why?  He's an adult.  He knows how to cook and clean.  I ain't his mother."

Once we were up in the air, they served a meal (keep in mind that this meal was now around midnight).  I was at the back of the plane and just as the drink cart was coming up to me we hit some very impressive turbulence.  Let me put it this way, the turbulence was so impressive that the pilot turned off air circulation and the flight attendant with the drink cart braced himself between two seats after locking the wheels on the cart.  I grabbed the precariously swaying cart and held onto as well as braced it with my knee so the contents on the top wouldn't go flying.  We hit another pocket 15 minutes later that had me chugging my water so it didn't go flying everywhere.  After that, it was rather smooth flying. 

Pretty much the flight went to sleep and I did my best to doze.  Just as dawn was breaking over Belgium, we came in for a landing.  Customs and immigration were a breeze and I immediately made my way to the train station where I booked a ticket to the gare-midi.  I was tired, but I wasn't where I needed to be yet.

The rest of this tale is continued in my regular blog.  Click on the link on the left to go there!