Left Behind, the Forgotten Dagger and Home

After 28 hours of travelling, I’m finally home! I’m SOOOO happy to be back to water magically coming out of the faucet, paved roads and clean air. Here’s a little recap of the last couple of days…

On our last day in Uganda we went to a place called African Village to pick up some gifts. There are some serious shoppers in my group so we spent a few hours combing through the stores. As we were getting ready to leave, Joanna said she was going to go grab a few more african bowls and I told her I’d come with her. I told our other team member Geoff that we would be right back. Joanna and I ran back over, grabbed some bowls and made our way back to the car but the car was gone. A boy who had sold me a Ugandan wire toy told us that the car had gone to the other side of the shops so we walked over but the car was nowhere to be found. Thinking that CLEARLY they would not have left us, I told Joanna that the best bet when lost was to go back to the place where the car was and wait for them. Maybe they were circling around the block or someone needed their parking spot. We waited for a few more minutes and the boy came over to us again and told us that the group had split into two groups and gone in two separate cars. He paused and stared at us waiting for our response. We weren’t picking up what he was laying down so finally he said, “I think they left with out you.” Well, shit. It doesn’t get much clearer than that. Joanna and I looked at each other, “What?!?” The boy very wisely guessed that each car thought that we were in the other and took off. We had no idea where they were going but for some strange reason, the boy had heard our team talking about going to Hotel Triangle for lunch. After a few moments of panic, we decided that our new strategy was to walk to Hotel Triangle. We started asking around and got several different accounts of how far the hotel was. As we were figuring out the distance, we noticed clouds were gathering and it looked like it was going to rain. Dammit. Strategy #3- let’s jump on a boda boda (motorcycle) and have them take us to the hotel. After negotiating a 2,000 shilling fare (less than a $1), Joanna and I hopped on the back of the motorcycle and took off. At this point, it starts raining and I start laughing so hysterically that I can barely breathe. Joanna busted out laughing too and the boda boda driver keeps saying “Are you ok? Are you having fun?” I can only imagine what he is thinking of these two hysterical American girls laughing so hard on the back of his motorcycle. We bobbed and weaved in some crazy traffic and I told Joanna that not only was it crazy to be on a motorcycle in downtown Kampala but to add rain to the mix was seriously insane. She agreed and thankfully we arrived at Hotel Triangle a few minutes later. It turned out that the boy was right. Both cars thought we were with the others until they passed each other on the street and realized they were sans Shelly and Joanna. A car had gone back to get us. Luckily, they had a cell phone with them so our leader called them and called them back to the hotel. With some good humor, a motorcycle and 2,000 Ugandan shillings a crisis was averted. Until London/Heathrow airport and the dagger incident…

Let it be known that Heathrow is by far the strictest security I have ever been through even without accidentally forgetting that you have a handcarved, African dagger in your bag. I am happy to say that for once, I was not the one causing problems. Amanda, in her haste to pack, had grabbed all of her souvenirs and shoved them in her carry-on, including a dagger for her brother in law. Heathrow security was not too happy with her oversight. We thought that they would confiscate the knife and send us on our way. No such luck. The security informed Amanda that in addition to seizing the contraband, they would also be contacting the airport police who would need to speak with her and it was quite possible that she would be missing her flight to the states. Double dammit. Thankfully, when the police arrived, they looked more like a welcoming committee than a hardcore security force ready to unleash fury. With a little chit chat and lots of smiling, Amanda was released without incident.

After the dagger shenanigans, I decided (again) that it was time for a bloody mary and cappuccino. The rest of our trip was relatively uneventful and we made it home a few minutes early even. I am ecstatic to be home. Kyle and I had some dinner and crashed out early last night. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get some pictures posted shortly. Here’s to hoping for no jet lag 🙂

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