Kampala day 1 aka I slept mostly

We exited the plane onto the tarmac, and I immediately soaked up the sights and smells. The familiar smell of fuel I’ve encountered in African airports hit me right away as did a gentle mist and intermittent rain. The area surrounding the airport was incredible lush and hilly. Quite beautiful. After getting my luggage (no problems there!) I exited and met my driver, Spiro. He took me to Kampala as I people watched from the window. Street-side vendors, African music, burning trash, all the foreign smells made for a memorable entry. Flying over and driving near Lake Victoria provided glimpses of further adventure later on.

 

To miss Monday morning rush hour, we went around the city center to Mulago Hospital/Makerere University. I arrived and met Miriam, the administrator for the research consortium. I was excited and still exhausted. I met Dennis, an American coordinator for the Punctuated Antiretroviral Therapy study for HIV/tuberculosis (Tb) coinfection, the Cough Survey study, and a few others. He kindly entertained about 100 questions I had regarding my getting situated here. He used to live and work in Chicago for a consultant group to the Chicago Dept of Public Health, and we exchanged our strong views about liking Chicago.

 

Then I slept. For about 17 hours. I have never done that in my life. Seriously. At about 1:30pm I slept until Ali came and woke me up to say hi. Then I went back to bed, woke up at 9PM for an hour and then slept until 5AM, then being fully awake afterwards. I started reading “The Alchemist” by Paul Coehlo when I awoke. Said the protagonist of the story after resolving his initial feelings of being incredibly foreign when he left his home and a bit confused, questioning and scared, “It was not a strange place; it was a new one.” You said it, Paul.

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