Reflections on the journey to Kisiizi
Written on Saturday 04 October, 2008
I’m sitting in our living room at Kisiizi Hospital, having spent the morning unpacking and chilling out. Although we hadn’t planned it, having the weekend to acclimatise ourselves is nice.
We’ve arrived. It’s an odd experience arriving somewhere after planning for so long, but it’s good.
We left Mum and Dad’s house in Taunton on Thursday afternoon at about 2.30pm, and arrived at Heathrow terminal 5 at about 5: too early to check in, but with enough time for a coffee with Dad before he returned home.
Terminal 5 is nice. We didn’t have any problems with luggage or security, and once in the departure lounge Kate and I had a meal – fortuitous, because dinner on the plane wasn’t served ’til after midnight (and we were asleep).
Arriving in Entebbe, we met up with our driver who took us to Kampala to buy a few things which are hard to get elsewhere: tomato puree, some nice-looking parmesan cheese, cornflour, pasta – that sort of thing. Kate’s unpacking a veritable cornucopia of foodstuffs in the kitchen at the moment, and it seems like we’ll eat pretty well here.
The journey from Kampala to Kisiizi was long – about 7 hours – but pretty uneventful. I was surprised that the road was covered in tarmac. This transpired to be a mixed blessing as we got further from a major conurbation – ‘dirt’ roads (compacted chippings) are probably easy to repair and usually drain fairly well. Tarmac roads require special equipment and, presumably, more expensive materials. As you’ll see in the video below, there were some pretty spectacular potholes – some as large as a foot deep and 6 feet round – to negotiate in our car. There were a couple of occasions when I thought we might be bidding farewell to the suspension.
Nevertheless, our driver Paul negotiated the road with aplomb (they drive on the left here, or the right if the left side is potholed or otherwise occupied, or in the middle if their horn is the loudest) and we arrived safely to a warm welcome from some of our new colleagues and friends. A delicious meal was provided by Ann (the Paeds Sister) which was really lovely.
We’ve definitely arrived.
(forgive the video / audio quality – we’re using the little camera again: expedience trumping quality I’m afraid)