Uganda Arrival

We arrived in Uganda last night.  I’m here to finish installing the Knowledge Management Portal (Knowledge Tree + Joomla) that I put together over the past few weeks and help train the local staff. Following are my first impressions of Uganda.  Keep in mind that I arrived after sunset and am staying at a nice hotel so my first impressions are especially limited.   Still, using my time in Rwanda as a frame of reference, I do have a little insight. During the drive from the airport in Entebbe to Kampala, I kept thinking of how I could describe what I’ve seen so far here in Africa.  My first thought was that much of it is like many rural areas of the U.S. during the early 20th century.  But there are a lot more cars and more electricity. Then I thought about the government in Africa.  The “Wild West” seems to work a little better, then.  The West with electricity and cars.  And paved roads. Of course, I wasn’t yet in Kampala when I was thinking about all this.  What I saw of Kampala last night, and from what I can see today, Kampala is fairly modern.  Short, modern office buildings, plenty of paved roads.  We’ll see if my impression changes once I actually get a chance to drive around today. Speaking of roads: In Uganda, they drive on the left.  In Rwanda (the other land-locked country just south of Uganda), they drive on the right.  I wonder what happens at a border crossing.  Oh, and they use yet-another-power-connection.  I had to pay 15,000 UG Shillings for a new adaptor today.  Highway Robbery, I tell you! I suppose you can tell exactly which European country colonized which African nation by looking at their power plugs and on which side of the road they drive.  Uganda is clearly a former British colony — left side driving and British power plugs — wheras Rwanda, with its power plugs and right side driving is clearly a former Belgium colony. One more thing before I start work.  International flights are about the most fun you can have (if you don’t sense sarcasm there, let me point it out for you here). Take Amsterdam, for instance.  I hopped off my flight from Philadelphia, went through customs once to enter then country and then again to hop on a flight to Uganda.  Hurrah!  At least this was better than transiting the U.S. where they make you grab your luggage even if you’re just catching the next flight out of the country. Customs (long lines, lots of waiting) and switching flights (long layovers, long lines, lots of waiting) mean that I left Philly at 6:30pm Tuesday and, after hours in airports and whatnot, arrived in my hotel in Uganda at 9:00pm Wednesday.  Not much jet lag, though.  I seem to have a knack for sleeping on planes — even in the cramped economy class conditions.

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