Brent Unpacking Africa | Part 3

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Trust!  Now there’s a big one.  

We packed up the next morning and went back to the clinic to unload and then went down the mountain to the market before boarding a plane for Entebbe, Uganda.  

Trust is driving down a mountain in the front seat, with the driver on the wrong side of the car driving at over 80kph with no guard railing.  It will change your life and give you a whole new perspective on trust.  You are not in control and don’t want to distract the driver by asking him to slow-down.  

We needed t-shirts after that drive, which stated, “I survived the most dangerous road in Burundi.”  They don’t take a true drivers test to get their license in most of Africa, they can pay off the test administrator and there you have it, your own African Driver’s License.  Thankfully, our driver had years of experience and multiple credentials for driving numerous vehicles.  He was fine with the horn blowing, passing on the steep side of a mountain with no guardrails and all the near misses of cyclers.  “Share the Road” is not a driving slogan in Africa, it’s “move…get out the way!”

We finally arrived at the market and it had its own unique feel with vendors coming out of their shops offering their best with the “mzungu” tax added of course.  “Mzungu” is the African word for white man.  You cannot go fifty feet without hearing it.  The children scream it at the top of their lungs.  At first, I was taken by surprise at the word, but then it became more of a title and “hey there is a white man here.”  It was more of a welcoming of sorts.  

The shops were full of brightly colored beads, baskets, carvings, and drums.  The people there wore bright colors and had smiles as wide as they would go.  We later learned that was because we were Americans and they knew we would spend money. 

 Insert our friend Edward.  Edward came to our church in Simpsonville a few times, he is Ugandan and his wife is Burundian.  He has been hired to be project director for PMI in Burundi for the next three years.  Edward took control of the market with flair and master negotiation skills.  I would ask how much something was and he would say, three US.  I say buy it!  Edward would say Nope it’s not worth that much in US currency here.  If we take them for their starting prices they will mess up the market and the Burundi Shillings will become even more worthless and the price of goods will increase dramatically.  I was able to purchase some awesome red and black seeded necklaces, a drum and of course a basket (you ll who know me know I collect baskets). 

Now, off to the airport!  Uganda here we come.


We arrived at the airport, said our goodbyes to our newest friends and rushed through security. Kyle nearly left his passport with the ticketing agent (Kyle-Style).  After two declaration documents, three security checkpoints, a pat down search for me, we are off to the gate.  Flight time was one hour.  We arrived at Entebbe Airport, Uganda and had to go through an entry fee gate for our VISA, collect my bag and find our driver.  What an ordeal that was. 

The next phase takes us through the slums of Kampala to Masindi.  I will share a quick story and some pictures of the journey next time. 


**Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all you ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (NIV)



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