9 am start to the day today! We met in Crane Bay at Newmark and after everyone had double checked that we had our passports and yellow books, Alana and friends finally arrived (18 minutes late to be exact). We began loading the bus with our luggage and left for O’Hare airport while listening to Africa by Toto, of course.
After about a two and a half hour drive we arrived and waited in the front of the airport for check in to open because Gabi planned for us to be there a short four hours before departure. We received our seat numbers, and I’m still convinced Gabi was punishing George by putting my seat next to his, but thankfully Anisa was there to make sure I didn’t bug him too much. Together we walked the terminal twice before deciding where to eat and finally settled on Mexican food, which is arguably the worst food to eat before being stuck on a plane for nine hours but everyone agreed it was worth the risk.
The first plane ride departed at around 4:30 pm and it was a full 7 and a half hours of game play for my row, and about four hours worth of my loud card shuffling to make sure everyone was wide awake to hear me continuously beat George in Yaniv. However, after a winner takes all bet, George stole my brownie and he’s still holding it hostage five days later (George, please give it back or eat it because you’re wasting my brownie). 7 and a half hours later we landed at midnight Chicago time 7 am Amsterdam time.
We had around two hours before our plane to Uganda departed, so we went to brush our teeth and grab some European food while we had the chance. After wandering around Amsterdam’s giant airport, we settled on Amsterdam Bread Co. and got a variety of pastries and sandwiches. We boarded and played some card games, but I was unconscious for the next six hours, so I guess we’ll never publish what happened during that time period.
We finally landed in Uganda at 10 pm their time and made our way through customs. They wrote in my passport Male instead of Female, so that’s good to have on my official documentation. After customs we grabbed all of the equipment and our luggage from baggage claim and stepped outside for the first time in about 24 hours. It was a crazy feeling to finally be in Uganda and for most of us, be in Africa for the first time. We bused for about an hour to our hotel, sadly I will not be sharing my experience because again I was dead asleep in the back seat.
After we got to the hotel everyone couldn’t stop talking about how nice it was and how excited we were to be able to lay down soon. Of course, food out weighed the fact we’d barely slept and we waited for two hours for dinner to be prepared. The food was amazing even though we had to be careful about what we ordered and ate, and it was a great start to the amazing food Uganda had to offer us for the rest of our trip. Immediately after putting our forks down people started heading up to shower and sleep one by one. Overall, it was a tiring but great start to the adventure we would have in Uganda!
– Author: Ashley Klauck