Where do I start…
Hope everyone has had a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year 🙂
So, a lot has happened since my last post which I realise is a VERY long time ago. But if you have followed me on Instagram og Facebook you have had some insight to my life the last few months.
Life here is very different from home. The electricity comes and goes as it pleases. The weather is too hot at times and we´re not even in the hottest season yet (getting there though). The bugs (animals as I refer to them :P) are everywhere. I have many scars already to prove it. Anyway..
It has also been Christmas and New Year´s since my last post.
The Christmas celebration here in the village is very different from what I am used to at home, which I was prepared for. But I have to say that the weather is probably one of the biggest noticeable differences. We did not celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve (Julaften, 24. desember), but on Christmas Day (1. juledag, 25. desember). So on Christmas Eve I was on the phone, using Whatsapp, to my mum and everyone celebrating with her, which was nice but different. 😛 I have to admit that I miss my family and friends on days like these. On the other hand the family here is very including and understanding, though the language can be a challenge sometimes.
For New Years I was invited to a wedding in Rwanda. This was a friend I know from Norway, but he´s from Kaziba, DR Congo. He was having a traditional Rwandan wedding, which sounds really fun and different from all the Norwegain wedding I have been to (not that they haven´t been awesome too) 😉
Because of some problems with the Rwandan Immigration government site I used an agency through a different site to try and get my Visa to Rwanda. This turned out to be a completely failure. I went to Entebbe Airport in good faith that I would make my flight. I was 5,5 hours early just to be sure, but in vain. My visa had not gone through and I was not allowed to fly to Rwanda. This was on the 30th of December and the wedding was on the 31st, on New Years Eve. So I went back and forth with what my options were. We tried looking up busses to Kigali, but because it was late at night , the busses had just left..
I was so unbelievably lucky to have Grace and Caleb driving me. Caleb is Fred Ssempijja´s son and Grace is his wife. Baby Gary was of course with us on the trip as well. The 30th ended with all of us staying at a hotel in Kampala as it was too late to drive all the way home to Kamuli that night.
If you choose to drive at night in Uganda you are really risking your life. Everyone here drives with the high-beams (langlys) on ALL THE TIME. You can not see anything and the TaxiBusses, which are quite common means of transport here, are really testing fate when they are overtaking other cars and not staying within the speed limit. There have been times where I had to stop the car completely because of some driver being in my field overtaking until almost reaching my car. Luckily I take no chances here! Better to be safe 🙂
Back to the wedding stuff.. We found a bus leaving at 9 PM on the 31st of Dec. This meant that I would miss the whole wedding and celebrate New Years Eve on a buss, which is what happened. I am very happy and grateful to Caleb and Grace for the patience to try and find me a bus. So Grateful! 🙂 And we succeeded in the end 😀
twelve hours later finally got to Gisenyi, Rwanda, had to pay $30 at the boarders (already spent $89 on an e-visa which wasn´t valid). Grrrrr…
You see on the 1st of January the laws for Visa changed in Rwanda. Now you can apply and pay for a Visa on arrival if you are flying, which was not the case for me, two days before that new law came into force. Even though all this back and forth, and long bus trips (4,25, 12 & 13 hours together) I got to see my friend his family and hang out for a bit which was nice and totally worth it!
When I was in Rwanda I also had to go to the Ugandan High Commission (sort of an embassy?) to get my Multiple Entry Visa back to Uganda. My Visa here in Uganda was suppose to expire on the 18th of January. Now I did not only get a Multiple Entry Visa, but an East African Visa, which means I can travel as I please between the countries Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya, AND it lasts for 6 months. Yay! Lucky me! 🙂 Finally something went smooth regarding my Visa applications…
I am now back in Uganda, waiting for the children to start school again (5th of February). While I wait I have some sewing projects here in the village. I have posted some on Facebook and Instagram about this and we have already had some buyers for the bags. For now I am making the bags, but the hope is to teach the mothers at in the C.village to sew them to earn some money and to do something different when the children are at school.
So watch out. Soon many in Norway will be walking around with these and useful African style bags 🙂