Monday, January 24, 2011
Arrived in Masaka!
We had a great drive out with Francis our driver for the next two weeks…it is about 140 kms to Masaka and we arrived roughly 2.5 hours after leaving Kampala. In order to avoid the morning rush hour traffic, we travelled through some of the suburbs of Kampala and really saw how the poorest of the poor in Africa live…it was difficult to witness and tugged at the heart strings. I will tell you know that everything you see on the TV is true…they literally have nothing. But they do seem to be happy and try their best to stay ahead.
About 100 kms from Kampala we reached the Equator!!! We stopped and took some pictures standing on the monument that separates the Northern Hemisphere from the Southern Hemisphere. This was a very cool experience !! The equator crosses the highway at about a 45 degree angle, so they have a monument on each side as well as a bowl with water that demonstrates that the water does not ‘swirl’ left or right!!
We continued on into Masaka and stopped at a road side diner for Tilapia and French fries…it was very good. A nice relaxing place to stop and take in the sights and sounds of the town. Masaka is both a district of Uganda as well as a city within the District.
We checked into our hotel, called the Golf Lane Resort. A very nice hotel overlooking the city. Wednesday is a holiday in Africa celebrating the liberation of the Ugandan people from the oppression of Idi Amin. When we arrived at our hotel we learned that the current President of Uganda, who is seeking re-election, will be holding a major rally right outside of our hotel. They are expecting thousands of people and they are preparing the area as I write this. (setting up tents, cleaning the area, pruning tress etc) There is also a huge army presence in the area. Major security for this event. We have been assured by the hotel staff it will be a peacefully rally!!
This evening we will meet with Richard who is the regional director for the credit unions in Masaka. He will provide more specific information about the credit unions we will be visiting over the next two weeks. We look forward to meeting him and learning as much as we can about our work here in Uganda.
Winston Churchill once stated that “Uganda is the Pearl of Africa” and from our experiences so far I would have to agree with him!
Keep in touch…it is always great to hear from friends and family when we are so far away!