2 January 2020
I had a wonderful night’s sleep at the Entebbe Airport Guest House and a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, and fresh fruit: the tiny bananas which are so good, watermelon, and papaya. I also had fresh made passion fruit juice. Yum! My friend and regular Kampala driver, Haji, picked me up around 10:30am and we headed to Kampala. There is a new highway which makes the travel much faster. Also, the roads weren’t too busy because a lot of people are still “upcountry” or “in the villages” for the holidays and will start returning today and tomorrow. Just like in the USA, if possible, Ugandans get together with their families and the gathering always includes a feast of their favorite dishes. I’ll talk more about this when I have a Ugandan meal. It only took an hour to get to the Mulago Guest House which is on the grounds of the Mulago National Referral Hospital.. Right now am in the lower house and am the sole occupant which is nice because I have the wifi to myself. But, it is always nice to meet and talk with other guests so maybe some more will join me before I leave. After unpacking and taking a quick nap, Winnie, my friend and collaborator came to pick me up to run errands, the first being the Forex, the foreign exchange, to change my US dollars to Ugandan Shillings, abbreviated UGX. Since I come back and forth regularly to Uganda I always have some UGX which is quite helpful for buying bottled water at the airport and the first night’s hotel stay. The hotel could have taken US dollars but prefers UGX, which I was able to provide. Next we headed to a shopping center, Garden City Mall, to go to the Africell store, which is a Cellular Service, to get my Ugandan phone lines and wifi router fixed. Unfortunately, the lines are still not fixed but hopefully are in the process of being fixed. Then we had to go to a grocery store for water. My students and I always use bottled water in Uganda, even to brush our teeth, so I buy it in bulk. I’ve been told that the water leaves the water sanitation plant clean and perfectly fine to drink but unfortunately the water pipes and infrastructure is not kept up and bacteria inevitably invades the water supply before it comes out of the faucet. One of the things I forgot to mention yesterday was the “smell of Uganda”. As soon as I exit the plane, the air wafts of boiling beans over a wood or charcoal stove, which is the most common mode of cooking here. Even though we were within the jetway, this wonderful aroma penetrated. Winnie and I had a nice dinner at an Indian restaurant and then came back to the guest house for a work session to plan the pharmaceutical care research project we want to start in June. Well, I’m exhausted and need to go to bed. Tomorrow we plan to meet with two of the local private hospitals to interest them in participating in the study. I’ll explain more about that later. Below are pictures of my lovely accommodations at Mulago Guest House.