BOLAM/Cox Family Travel Update
I will likely send out our usual weekly update tomorrow, but I wanted to let you know that we – and all of our nine pieces of luggage – arrived safely in Uganda Friday night. Thank you for praying! Check-in went smoothly at DIA as Primrose and Pastor Russ did a good job weighing the suitcases and we were one of the first passengers to check in about 2½ hours before our scheduled departure.
Our overnight in London was much needed, especially for me who had gotten about 15 total hours of sleep the previous five nights before landing in London. We were able to meet Ugandan family and friends who live in London. It seems wherever we go, Ugandans are there. The flight from London to Entebbe also went without a hitch having survived London security. Let me just say that there is barely an inch on your body that is not touched during their pat down.
Upon arriving at Entebbe Airport, we lined up in three different lines to enter Uganda: Primrose was in the citizens’ line, I was in the residents’ line, and Samuel was in the visitors’ line (yes, the visitors’ line as he cannot apply for dual citizenship in Uganda before he is 18 years old). I received a nice welcome from the Immigration Officer. After showing him my residency certificate in my passport and explaining how I had gone to care for my mom, he said, “Welcome home.” Indeed, I was home!
We received all of our luggage in a timely manner and all in one piece. With nine pieces, we did have to convince the customs official that we were not bringing goods into the country to sell. Thankfully, I had our NGO certificate and we explained that the goods are for our children’s homes. She let us pass without asking for duty. Yea! We had another successful time passing through customs. We were out of the airport within an hour – a record!
Our Kampala driver who has probably been driving us for nearly 20 years met us at the airport and helped us with all of our luggage, along with his son who came with a second vehicle to help carry all our stuff. Sorry guys, I would help, but I just broke my shoulder! This was the right time to have a good excuse.
We were warmly welcomed by Primrose’s brother and his family. We had dinner at 1 a.m. Friday night. Yes, Ugandans are known for eating dinner late, but not this late! This was okay, though, realizing it was 4 p.m. in Denver. I spent Saturday resting and did something I had not done in a real long time – I slept nearly eight hours. Additionally, I took a three-hour nap Saturday afternoon. I cannot remember the last time I slept more than an hour during the day. It has been years, if not almost forever – at least, since I was a baby.
Sunday we went into Kampala town to hang-out and to see Primrose’s sisters and a family member who had been in the hospital. I enjoyed brewed coffee and Samuel enjoyed a Coke as we waited for Primrose to get her nails done. She had waited for quite a while and until we arrived in Uganda as it is cheaper to get nails done here. Samuel reports that Coke tastes about the same here. I wouldn’t know. Bring me my diet Coke. Yes, they do have diet Coke—or Coke 0—and, yes, I know that diet soda is really no better for you. The best drink is God’s original drink—water!
Oh, how I have missed good Ugandan food! I have enjoyed fresh and healthy meals: Irish and sweet potatoes, beans, rice, matooke (like plantains that are boiled) with peanut sauce, salad, and chicken that had likely just been killed). And, this is how we have been eating every main meal. I am so thankful to be back to fresh, boiled food as I have gained weight the last year being under a lot of stress and not exercising routinely. My broken shoulder did not help.
Uganda is familiar! I was not sure how I would respond having been gone for nearly 10 months. I think I was a little surprised that it seemed like I had never left or that I had only been gone a short while. Everything seems familiar. I guess I should not be too surprised since I have lived the majority of the previous four years in Uganda.
Our mosquito-free honeymoon this time around only lasted two nights as we had two little visitors last night – one that I killed and the other that could not disturb us after we dropped the mosquito net. There is one thing I do not want to become familiar – malaria!
Again, thank you for your prayers. Things have gone so smoothly with our travels and our first days in Uganda. I will try to send our usual update tomorrow, but it may have to wait until later in the week as we plan to travel to Kabale Wednesday. We cannot wait to see our children!!!