Thursday, September 13, 2007

We Made It Home!!

We made it home. It seemed to take forever, but the United Methodist Uganda Bible Academy teaching team arrived in Indianapolis during the very early hours on Tuesday morning. Here is a rundown of our activities between our last blog entry and our return home:

  • We put our luggage in our van for the trip to the airport. After a discussion it was decided that there would not be enough room in the van, so the luggage was moved to the roof.

  • We left the Colline Hotel in Mukono at about 1pm on Saturday.

  • We made a pit stop at the site of the new (not finished) Namboole United Methodist Church. We visited with Rev John Kiviiri for a few minutes before continuing on.

  • Bob C and Dewey wanted to attend the Futbol (soccer) game at the national stadium. The game was a part of the Africa's Cup of Nations tournament featuring Uganda vs. Niger. We had a view of the stadium from the Namboole location. Bob and Dewey were outvoted and we moved on.

  • Moses, our driver, decided that it looked like rain. So we stopped the van in downtown Kampala and took the luggage off the roof and put it back in the van.

  • Bob C, Byron and Dewey walked from that spot to exchange some money from US dollars into Ugandan Shillings.

  • The rest of the group went to the Episcopal office with the van. There they put the luggage back on top of the van and covered it with a tarp.

  • After reuniting, we filled the van with fuel and moved onto Entebbe, site of the national airport.

  • Upon arrival in Entebbe, we took the luggage down at the Golf View Inn. That lasted for only a few minutes as most of us would be sleeping in another location. Therefore, we had to put most of the luggage back on top of the van.

  • Although we were only going to be in the Golf View Inn (there was a golf course across the street) for a few hours, it was quite a bit more primitive than anything that we would stay in at home.

  • We ate dinner at a nearby resort and then said goodbye to our hosts, Moses, David and James, and returned to the Golf View.

  • At 200am we left the Golf View from Entebbe airport for our 430am flight. The airport at Entebbe is very interesting. Security was a challenge. Dewey and Jim were stopped for a time because someone was carrying a Swiss Army Knife. Our group was cleared of the crime and the knife was located and confiscated.

  • The flight from Entebbe to Cairo, Egypt took about five hours.

  • In Egypt, we had 25 hours before our connecting flight to the US. Egypt Air provided meals and a room for each of us at Le Passage Heliopolis hotel. It was by far the nicest place that we slept. We were a little uncomfortable because Egypt Air kept our passports during this time. However, when we arrived at the airport at 700am the next day, our work was easy. We had boarding passes and seat assignments already.

  • Then there was 12 hours on the 777 from Cairo to New York City. And that's where all our troubles really began. Carol and Bob L both had luggage that did not arrive from Cairo. Egypt Air will not return luggage beyond New York City. This was very frustrating. Bob L then lost his toothpaste and shaving cream to the TSA at the security checkpoint. Dewey's bag was overweight and he had to pay a fee to get it on the plane.

  • Our flight was originally scheduled for 640pm from NYC to Indianapolis (that's what it said on the tickets and itinerary anyway). When we arrived at the gate departure time was listed at 700pm, then 735, then 800, then 830. When we finally got on the plane, we had to sit on the runway for a long time. It was almost 1000pm when we finally got in the air.

  • When we arrived in Indianapolis we were all greeted by family, friends and our leader and motivator, John Elliott. We are all extremely glad to be home.

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