Mzungus and Soroti

We started the day by going to 7:00am mass with Sr. Cissie, Sr. Norbert, Sr. Teopista, Sr. Elizabeth, and it was led by the priest we ate dinner with the previous night. After, we ate breakfast: toast, mango juice, and bananas. Oh, and of course, tea and coffee. Once we finished breakfast, Wilber and my dad loaded the car and we headed into Kampala. Driving through Kampala makes rush hour in New York City look stress free and easy! Cars, bikes, boda bodas, taxis, oh my. Once we exchanged our US Dollars (USD) for Ugandan Shillings (USh), we went to Jinja. Before we got there, we stopped at the Shrine of the 22 Ugandan Martyrs. It was beautiful. The whole area was completely fixed up for the Pope, when he came in November 2016.

While we were there, there were large groups of children (maybe 150+ each) and they all looked at me and Dad. As we walked by, the teachers kept telling us, “They love to see Mzungus.” Mzungus are white people, or anyone from the USA, the UK, or Canada. They all were extremely friendly and when I waved at them, they smiled and waved back.

I noticed that the further we got away from Kampala, the more impoverished the area became. Children were walking barefoot. Mothers were in the streets, begging with their children. People came up to are car and tried to sell all sorts of foods, drinks, and merchandise.image

imageimageWe stopped at the Source of the Nile in Jinja. This is where Lake Victoria meets the Blue Nile (River Nile starting from Victoria Falls between Zambia and Zimbabwe and coming up to Lake Victoria). imageimage
We all ate at a Java Cafe. I got a burger, along with dad, and the rest got ribs.
We continued to Soroti.
Our car had some complications and we stopped in Namalemba. Long story short, we couldn’t use the AC anymore so we are driving with the windows open. The road worsened as we drove to Mbale, a town about 2 hours away from Soroti. People back home…stop complaining about potholes! There were some parts of the road that…well…there was no road. It had corroded away by the cars and the rain. These holes varied in size, from small dips in the road, to 5ft. in diameter. With the road like this and the windows rolled down, dust is everywhere. It makes me appreciate the roads back home.
We arrived at St. Ann’s-Madera Girls’ Primary School! Hundreds of girls were excited to see us. A few greeted Sr. Cissie, who has been away for the past 2 years. They all use to be P5 (Primary 5…around the equivalent of 5th grade) but now they are in P7 (8th grade).

Love,

Ben

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