As a young woman who'd thought she'd done it all, seen it all blah, blah, I was wholly unprepared for the emotional impact that those 3 months would have on me.
I remember getting off the plane at Entebbe, dazed and sweaty, I followed the crowd towards the visa department of the airport. Being scanned with a thermometer (as an ebola screening?-I'll never know!), having my hands sprayed with sanitiser and being told aggressively to look at the camera I hadn't even noticed. The fear of "Oh my God, what if my luggage isn't here?!" "What if I can't get a hold of Leslie?" At this point in time I was still under the impression that Leslie was a man. Mostly due to the way she spells her name! My mistake Leslie, sorry!
After wandering around like a lost sheep trying to find the driver who was picking me up, I got in the car and we headed to the backpacker's lodge. This was the scariest drive of my life. It was also my first real experience of Ugandan roadsense!
We'd headed down the main road and on to the dirt track, there was work being done on this road and lots of machinery had been left lying around (at the side of the massive ditch that had been dug)-Alas, the driver decides to brave it anyway. I didn't feel that I could say anything because I didn't know any better and honestly, as long as I lived, I didn't care how we made it there. All I wanted was a shower and a nap. As we were making our way along this half formed road in this beaten up old Toyota, the car is sliding further and further into the ditch with the lack of traction from the dust. Before I knew it he was driving on two wheels of the thing! I@m hanging on to the handle of the passenger side door for dear life and thinking "I've been in Uganda for less than 24 hours, don't let me die. My mother already thinks this was a bad idea".
We made it in the end. Doesn't mean I wasn't scared though! I will never forget it.
Overall, I would recommend TRU and GVN to anyone and everyone. Of every race, gender, age, sexuality, religion, you name it! Don't be afraid to get yourself out there. It can only bring positivity into your life. You will learn and you will teach. Sharing your knowledge, skills and wisdom with others will never be a bad thing.