Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Multiply Trip East Africa 2015 Day 10 August 20.

Len was keen to see the Lake and source of the Nile.  Gregory agreed he and Viv could chip off early with the minibus providing we got off to Kampala by 10am.  We had an address, but we didn't know where to start looking for the Emmaus Guest Lodge, though Ps Andrew offered that he did.  We were up against a deadline, because Hilary and Janet were due to land in at Entebbe (with George) at 1.30pm, and were to be collected and brought to rendezvous with us.

11am passed, and Andrew, bluetooth adaptor permanently plugged into his left ear, and two other phones on the go, was nowhere to be found.  When we hit the outskirts of Kampala we spotted a Shoprite.  At my cry of, "Ah, civilisation!" Viv wheeled the minibus round and we piled out to change currency, buy airtime, and replenish our provisions (specifically - yogurt!). 

"I know this place," Rukundo broke in, referring to the adjacent recreation ground.  "It was where I was converted - at a TL Osborne crusade."  (That was July 1991.)  Having enjoyed the first taste of air conditioning at Barclays, I stuffed my two-plus million Uganda shillings into my bag and joined Len in the supermarket.  Isaac, from Entebbe, appeared, dispatched by the local leaders to guide us into Kampala city centre, but Charles had disappeared with the van in search of some shade.  More waiting around; more time lost. 

Tank Hill Road is a prosperous district and the security around Emmaus is formidable.  "The Chief of Police lives next door", we were informed.  We trooped in and were provided with welcome chai while Gregory checked the accommodation arrangements.  An MPV arrived with the Nairobi trio, and an impeccably dressed Pastor Chris.

It turned out that the conference church was way over on the other side of the city.  I wasn't happy.   The local guys hadn't followed what Gregory had requested and transferred to somewhere central.  We were faced with the daily prospect of long journeys.  In Nairobi everything had been compact and convenient.

Pastor Chris, courteously explained that he lived very nearby, and would deal with the transport needs.  We decided to accept the situation.  Emmaus offered a mix of single and twin rooms, all at the same per-head tariff, and Rukundo and I opted to share.  Our next priorities were a chance to check out the conference venue needs, plan the sessions in detail and finally a meal.  It was too late in the day for the first.  We waited around for Andrew and others to appear for the second, but they never came.  Pastor Chris steered us to the nearby Cafe Roma for the third, after the travelling team had agreed that tomorrow we should concentrate on leadership issues.

It was incongruous to see local folks orientating around Italian cuisine.  With a lot of laughter we explained the choices and everyone ordered.  Gregory frowned intently at his huge bowl of spaghetti.  Rukundo's eyes popped at the pizza he was presented.  Charles played safe and went for chicken.  Viv had a side dish piled high with chips.  Len ate his own pizza and sampled some of everybody else's on offer.  I saved some space for a tiramisu.  This bill was 322,000Uganda shillings. 

Our bedroom had a small private balcony overlooking the tidy garden, and our beds were four-posters with mosquito nets for canopies.  This is a recently introduced improvement on the ceiling-hung pyramid style.  I was troubled  that we weren't ready for the next day's sessions, but it was too late to tackle some new presentation stuff.  I'd done teaching sessions on each of the past six days, and had needed to recharge my emotional batteries: it hadn't really happened. 

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