Saturday, February 25, 2012

More Kampala and car stuff

I was essentially told that the pictures of my new truck were woefully inadequate so, Dad because I love you, I just wandered around the truck for the last 10 minutes taking pictures much to the dismay of the watchman who I'm sure is contemplating who will now pay his salary since I've been bewitched. For those who aren't as into car engines as  my father, above the pictures I've shamelessly stolen teammate Karen's blog post.  She did a much better job of recounting our adventure. Thanks Karen!!

The Kampala Whirlwind

Waking up from a good night of rest, I can now reflect on my whirlwind trip to Kampala with 
my team-mate Jennifer.  Jennifer had to go down country to pick up a vehicle for her to take 
to the remote lands of Karamoja, and she needed someone to go with her.  I was able to 
finish up my other work and clear my calendar for a few days to join her on this road-trip 
south.  Thursday morning I went to town and booked tickets for the overnight bus to Kampala.  
I was handed a business card for a the bus' taxi van to come and pick up.  We called the 
taxi at 10 pm and the driver told us to call at 11 pm again to remind him of our location.  
Shortly after 11 we called again and the driver said, "7 minutes".  How true he was!  He 
came honking on to our road, waking up many neighbours, I'm sure.  We loaded up and 
were delivered to the bus stop on Main Street in Soroti.  The bus was supposed to leave
 at 12 midnight, but it was closer to 1 am before we pulled out of town.  We hardly slept at 
all on the bus, as every 45 minutes or so the bus pulled over to drop off or pick up more 
passengers... that meant all the lights went on and people were rearranged.  I also couldn't 
rest well because I was in the middle seat... being spooned by the man next to me... a man 
who had long legs and put them half way into my seat to spread out and I'm sure he was 
using me as a pillow.  So hot!  We arrived in Kampala at 6:30 am, just before sunrise.  We 
walked a couple of blocks up the street to a store called Shoprite, and sat under a lamp post 
there to eat an apple and some muffins. We also toured a local Hindu Temple and were 
saddened to see the blatant idol worship and couldn't help but talk about the hopelessness 
and pointlessness of it all.  At 8 am the shop opened - we used the latrine and then called 
the mechanics to see if Jennifer's vehicle was ready.  Yes it was! From the previous blog 
post... you can see that we rode Bodas (motorcycle taxis) out to the mechanics and spent 
the next few hours learning all sorts of fun things about the Land Cruiser.  Thankfully we 
had a GPS with us, because we needed it greatly to find our way around the city for the 
afternoon's activities.  We first went to a small shopping centre to get money from the ATM, 
but poor Jennifer's card was swallowed by the machine and the bank wouldn't give 
Jennifer back her card until the next day.  I pulled out money to cover the costs of a few 
things, we grabbed lunch to go from the grocery store and drove over to the car dealership. 
Thereobtained a new rim for a spare tire that I need, and I was able to begin the 
paperwork to get a TIN (Tax Identification Number) and transfer the ownership of my Subaru
 into my name.  Once all the fees were paid, Jennifer and I sat at Cosmos (a car lot) and at 
our cold chicken and side salads.  Then off to another larger store where we purchased 
groceries, appliances, non-perishable foods and other items for ourselves and the team.  
We were quickly running out of energy, so we headed for the Baptist Mission Guest House 
for a relaxing evening.  We arrived around 3:45 pm, showered, watched a movie on VHS, 
and ordered in pizza.  Wow, what a treat!  Believe it or not, we were sound asleep by 7:30 pm.
  I slept a good 12 hours.... then woke up to go back to the bank where the ATM card was 
swallowed.  After showing her passport, Jennifer was given her card back.  Then we 
grabbed a few more groceries for the team - this time - fresh fruits and veggies, bacon, 
hotdogs, and other treasures, and quickly stored the goodies in cooler bags before heading
 home.  Heading out of the city at 10:30 am we only had a few more stops to make.  We 
bought 7 palm trees at a roadside garden and had fun trying to lay down cardboard - to 
stop dirt from destroying the inside of the "new" vehicle.  Pulling back into Soroti around 
5:30 pm, we were glad when the Tiesenga's invited us over for dinner.  The last thing I 
wanted to think about was preparing something to eat.  We divided up every one's groceries,
dropped them off, and then I went home to bed.  A great trip!
Her blog is here.  Then for the car pictures....

These next 9 pictures are a 3x3 grid starting in the upper left, as requested.

1 comment:

Bemjamin Kragt said...

The truck looks great! I've got a couple vehicles around that age and none of them are nearly that clean. Can't wait to get there and get a little grease on it!