First impressions of Uganda
Updated: Aug 2
After 24 hours of travel from Singapore including a flight cancelation from Dubai, I made it Saturday evening to Entebbe, a city next to Lake Victoria, and close to Uganda's capital: Kampala.
Landing at night, I couldn't see much of the landscape or town except notice that there is very little light pollution, making it perfect conditions to admire the starry sky.
After identifying Matthew, the driver who was picking me up at the airport, we made it to the guesthouse and I met some of the volunteers who were still awake. We're a team of 12 motivated volunteers coming from various corners of the world (Australia, Japan, UK, USA) together with local staff of Mission rabies that we'll meet directly at the location where the vaccination campaign will take place in the Southwest.
Uganda is blessed with a stable climate all-year round with temperatures spanning from 19 to 27 Celsius degrees and is spread around the equator line. Most of the country lays at an average altitude of 900m, with some mountains to the East and Southwest. It's pretty green and boast fertile soils so that a variety of fruits, vegetables and crops easily grow here- making Uganda a fairly self-sufficient country in terms of food. The main exports are coffee, fish and maize; it also has a large reserve of crude oil and base metals.
The colorful shops and clothing remind me a bit of India, as well as its "organized chaos" which I enjoy a lot as part of any of my adventure trips. Locals are quite cheerful and smiley as we pass along and kids are of course the most curious and talkative, especially when it comes to practice a few words of English.
On the next day, we set on the road to reach Kabale in the Southwest province (close to the border with Rwanda) where the dog vaccination mission will take place. The trip by minivan took about 9 hours and we passed scenic landscapes. It also enabled to observe the daily life of Ugandans, as many markets and other activities take place alongside roads.
I share with you a few photos I took on the way:
On Monday we received our official volunteer training and briefing. I was highly motivated by seeing everyone coming together for the same goal: protect the local communities of people from the deadly rabies disease, by vaccinating dogs -who are the primary reservoir of the disease- and by supporting education to prevent dog bites in the first place. Our target is clear: reach >70% vaccination rate of the local dog population, so that means vaccinating a few thousand dogs in the span of 10 days!! We will start as of Tuesday with a departure scheduled at 7:30am for the field. Can't wait to get started and interact with the local communities.
As internet connection is pretty spotty here, I won’t be able to publish another article before the end of my trip, however you can get snippets from it directly from my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/YnnafJourney
Happy end of July and see you in August!