Touchdown in Lira

Typed on the 6th of June in the afternoon.

So, after a six-hour ride on a cramped bus, I am now in Lira. There was quite the hubbub at the bus park before getting on, but Morris and I boarded and found our way onto some seats. I found it odd that in a bustling park with buses lined up and people shouting trying to either board buses or sell goods, there was a man with a metal detector scanning people as they boarded the bus. Odd, but secure I guess. As we sat and prepared to leave, another bus employee walked up to me and told me to try not to fall asleep lest someone steal my laptop. As secure as that made me feel, we were soon on our way out of Kampala.

I took advantage of the free, no-sleeping time to get some reading done for my class (and never have I read so much about how sixteenth century ships were built and, somehow, I wasn’t that bored). The most interesting and fun thing about the buses was the random stops. We stopped once for fuel and people got out to strech, but all of the other stops were pretty much 2 or 3 minutes where the bus pulled over and a ton of people on the street would run over with fruit, vegetables, drinks, and meat and hold them up to the windows and try to sell them. It was kinda surreal to see such a…. drive-thru. But, anyways, we made it to Lira a little after sunset and got picked up by some German folk who took us out to dinner.

I’m currently staying with a girl named Monica and a guy named Erik, along with a Swiss girl named Nadia whom I have yet to meet (she’s in Kampala). Erik is moving out next week to his organization’s guest house. They occasionally have some other German friends staying over from other towns or districts like Lukas – who works at a school (I think) in a different district but was here last night.

The house is really big and has several bedrooms along with a common area and a big yard in the compound. There are two guards provided by a local orphanage that Nadia is working at and a small group of animals on the premise. In the passed couple of years I’ve gone from no pets to a fish to two rats and now two cats. And in this compound are four or five chickens, a goat, and a dog. All I have to say is that the rooster is loud.

Tomorrow I’ll be headed to the NACWOLA office, but I only kinda figured out how to get there so it’ll be an interesting trip in the morning. In the mean time, I’ve seen a few parts of this relatively small town and apparently there’s one good internet cafe (thank goodness). I’m also looking into the sensibility of getting a portable modem, because that’s what a lot of people have since there isn’t much in the ways of internet around here. We’ll see!

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