Archive for March 2010

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March 1, 2010

As I reflect on my 2 weeks in Uganda, I am glad that I was able to get so large an amount accomplished while also being able to enjoy my time in such a beautiful place.  Immersing myself in a new culture and working to build relationships with the people I met made for an invaluable learning experience.  As advised by more than a few wise individuals,  I made sure to do more listening than talking while on this trip (hence the title of my blog).

I hope that everyone who has been reading was touched by one or more of the stories I have shared on this page.  I have appreciated the encouragement and input that I have received through blog comments & e-mails.  Also, I am very grateful to those who helped sponsor me on my trip.  Thank you; Thank you; Thank you!

I now am heading back up to Grand Rapids to begin Stage 2 & 3 of my Honors Project: Business plan revision & Major paper on the topic of Human-Centered Design.  I do plan to continue posting project status updates on my blog, though quite infrequently.

So long for now,

Ashley

Day 11: Back to Kampala

March 1, 2010

Thursday was another early morning as we wanted to get a head start on the drive back to Kampala.  Mike and I said our goodbye’s to Esther, Innocent, and the hotel staff as well as our see-ya-later’s to Cindy and Rich.  We hopped into Francis’ truck along with Bill, who was also heading back to Kampala.  Before getting on the road, however, we made sure to stop by Dinah’s shop in town to say goodbye and to thank her for her generous gifts: hand-sewn and custom-fit garments made from beautiful African fabrics.

The drive to Kampala usually takes 4 hours because of traffic, but we made a detour in Jinja and went to see the source of the Nile River, the place where water begins flowing out of Lake Victoria.  Despite the amount of hype that I had built up around this, the site itself was a bit of a let down – a tourist attraction more than anything.  (But how many of you can say that you have been to the source of the Nile?!)  We also paid to enter another park where we could see rapids and then stopped for lunch at an exquisite hotel on the Nile River before we were back on the road.

Back in Kampala, we were bombarded by disgusting amounts of air pollution that we hadn’t noticed on the arriving-end of the trip.  It is sad that not much can be done about this.  We spent the afternoon relaxing and shopping with Bill and then had dinner at a restaurant that kind of resembled Chili’s.  Then, Mike and I were picked up by our taxi-driver and rode an hour to the airport in Entebbe to catch our 12AM flight to London.

Mike and I arrived home 24 hours later, exhausted.  I could have spent at least another month in Uganda, but I was definitely content when I finally got home to my family.  After a hot shower and a few loads of laundry, I was looking forward to a veggie-packed meal and a cold glass of chocolate soy milk!