Dear Family and Friends,
This has been a crazy week. I was released from the MTC on Tuesday at about 5 in the morning. Then all eight of us going to Uganda had to wait in the airport until like 2pm until our flight took off. We ate at a burger joint there (where we had probably the best meal I’ve had since I’ve come to Africa) and went shopping for ties (They had a store where you could get 2 ties for a little over 10$) until our plane took off. About 4 hours later when our flight landed, we could all tell immediately the difference between the South African airport that we took off from and the Kampala Airport where we landed at. The airport in South Africa resembled what an airport in the states would look like, while the one in Kampala was very small, had no air conditioning, and was pretty basic as far as airports go. It was so small that you could go from one side of the airport to the other, visiting every store, in probably 5 minutes. Once we picked up our bags we were greeted by the mission pres., his wife, and like 10 other missionaries (including our 3 APs), and they took us to the AP's apartment for the night. While we were driving there I got my first taste of Ugandan driving. It was insane. There are no traffic lights, no stop signs, and everyone drives close to or over 100 km per hour. Also because of how narrow the roads are you find yourself on the right side of the road to get around people just as often as you find yourself on the left side of the road. When I think about the ride to the APs house I find myself still surprised that I'm alive.
So then when we got to the APs apartment we got settled for the night. It was so hot that night that we all had fans blowing on us and we all slept without any blankets on and we were still sweating all night. It got really hot in that apartment because we stayed in the basement of the apartment they have virtually no ventilation in some rooms. Then when we woke up that morning something happened that I don't think I will ever forget.
I was one of the first ones up so i decided to try to take a shower before anyone else got up. I got into the bathroom and started up the shower and waited for the water to heat up. While I was waiting I used the toilet, and flushed it when I was done. I turned back to the shower when I heard a popping sound and heard rushing water. I looked back at the toilet and saw a giant hole in the wall between the shower and toilet were there used to be a valve that controlled the regulation of water for the shower. Water was spraying everywhere and within minutes the entire bathroom was flooded. I ran out of the bathroom and alerted everyone that there was something wrong with the bathroom. When people looked in that bathroom there was a look of mixed terror and amusement that I had rarely seen before. Eventually we were able to get the water shut off for the whole apartment but not before the bathroom looked like a swimming pool.
Later that day we went to the president’s house where he gave us instruction and orientation. We got to meet the financial and medical advisers for the Uganda Kampala mission where they also orientated us. The Mission Presidents house is amazing, it would be a nice looking house if it were in the states, but for Uganda he's living like a king.
That night we visited the mission office and then stayed at the APs apartment again for the night. The next morning Elder Bukenya (another missionary from the MTC) and I left for Lira, a small city in the mid-northern part of Uganda. That's where we met our new companions.
My district has bikes which is a huge blessing because only like 5% of the entire mission has bikes. Zone leaders and APs all get trucks but everyone else has to walk.
So far I really like Uganda, (the people are very kind and awesome) but I've got to say, i really miss air-conditioning. Especially in Lira, which is (from what I've been told) one of the hottest areas in all of Uganda. The only place so far I've been to so far with air conditioning is Pres. Jackson's house.
I miss you guys and I give you my love. It's good to hear from you and that Cameron has been baptized, and I'm looking forward to calling on Christmas to be able to tell you all about my adventures in Uganda.
Much love- Elder Grilliot