Wow what awesome news about your scheduled meeting!! What a great addition to your trip. It will be so nice to put the personalities with the faces :) Do you know what city she lives in?

Also, I totally relate and understand your fear of the unknown rising. It can be a crazy thing going to Africa for the first time but, God is so good and meets you directly in those places, just as He does here. God is the same, no matter the location! In addition, the Ugandans themselves are so friendly and with your organization, I know you will be fully taken care of!

Uganda is an amazing place full of so much rich culture and fun. The culture is so laid back and is perfect for letting it all "unfold" like you said. Here is a little article I found that deals with some of the cultural norms that may affect you, for the most part this is spot on. http://kabiza.com/kabiza-wilderness-safaris/cultural-mistakes-avoid-uganda/ - the only one I didn't really encounter was the "showing emotions" one.

The first time I went to UG, I honestly had nothing that scared me. The Lord had given me this bold and fearless spirit that really allowed me to just love and be present. Then, as I prepared for my second trip for 6 months, I started getting fearful of a lack of community and a fear of not doing everything I hoped to, which sounds weird since I was there for so long. But, the Lord surrounded me with many people, from Americans to Ugandans, that made it all feel like home. Creating relationships that will last forever. In the same way, the Lord shook my fear of not "accomplishing" everything, and gave me such great (and random) opportunities to try so many different things. Recently the Lord continues to show me how His plan works. I think something I would encourage you in, is that The Lord will guide you and open doors to all the things He wants you to do. Now, I know that is super cliché in a way, but it couldn't be truer. In a culture where relationships are valued way more than time and punctuality, be intentional and present in the day to day things. Make sure your eyes and heart are open to the people and events that you will encounter, planned or not.

In terms of medical care, to be honest I had no worries about. Which was probably a result of my somewhat reckless spirit, but also because I know that despite some sketchy clinics, there are many legit medical centers, especially in the Kampala area. I don't know if your organization is connected with a certain clinic but there is a clinic called 'The Surgery' just outside of Kampala that is probably the best place for medical care as far as I know of. A lot of the expats in UG go there for trusted results.

http://thesurgeryuganda.org/ Here is the website in case you'd like to look at it!

If you're fearing some of the diseases like Malaria, I wouldn't stress too much. Now I'm not one to talk because I didn't get it while I was there but I've talked to a good amount of people who have had it, and as much as it sucks (it's basically just the worst flu ever), its treatable and Ugandans know how to get rid of it because they deal with it daily.

On my trips I did buy some malaria medication called Malarone or Doxycycline, which are strong daily tablets you can take to prevent it. But, with that, they also have little side affects and may take a toll on you if you are taking them for the long period of time you are there. Actually on my last 6 mo. trip, I brought 2 weeks worth of Doxycycline in the US, but stopped once it was gone because I figured it's just cheaper to treat it than to take pills the whole time - some may disagree (because there are worse strains of Malaria) but that's an option. Also there is another pill that you should bring, which I cant remember the name right now, but helps with EVERYTHING from diarrhea (There's no TMI in Africa), UTI and everyday stomach issues. When I find the name I'll send it to you.

BUT if you do decide to take the different medications I would strongly urge you to buy it IN Uganda and not the US. It will save you SO much money and is no different.

By the way, I LOVE answering all these questions because they remind me of all the fun I had and make me excited to go back, when that may be! In the meantime I'm going to answer these questions in a list format for fun!

What were some of your favorite must haves that you packed? / Things you wish you packed?

- Some comfort food : UG food is nice, but SUPER heavy in carbs and very plain. Also the meat there is a little sketchy at times so I found that beef jerky is something to pack. Also maybe some sweets like starbursts or something that won't melt.

- Cotton Pants : I got a pair at American Eagle, but I found myself wearing them ALL THE TIME. A lot of missionaries tend to wear maxi skirts which are great and modest, but you'll miss comfy pants and pants in general, I am going to bring more on my next trip.

- Perfume & Febreeze : I am totally a smell kind of girl and love smelling good, even if I chose not to shower for the day. Perfume helps, and reminds you of home and Febreeze makes your clothes smell clean. You'll probably do laundry outside or your NGO might hire someone to do it for you, either way it will be stiff and "crunchy" from hanging on the line so Febreeze helps make it seem like it was in the dryer!

- Conditioner/Shampoo : A lot the shampoo sold in local stores isn't for "mzungu" (white people) hair, as the Ugandans call it. They have it at some big supermarkets (called The Game & Nakkumat) but I found they were over priced and took an adventure into town to get them.

- Tampons (If that's what you prefer) : They don't have them in Uganda, or at least I didn't see any. So if that's what you use, definitely stock up before.

- Makeup (if you wear it) : I know this may sound superficial since people tend to go for a natural look while there, but sometimes us girls just want to wear makeup and so I would encourage you to bring some if that's what you wear. I brought like half empty makeup products and wish I brought more cause once you run out it's expensive to get more.

- Light Clothing : Of course it is hot & humid there so basically just any clothing that is light and flowy I would recommend.

- Any Cameras : I brought a huge DSRL camera and a GoPro (even though I forgot to use the GoPro - I'll be bringing it back)

Things you packed but didn't need or use AT ALL?

- Clothes : When going my second time I over packed to an extreme. When going again I would definitely not bring half the amount of clothes I brought, because you can totally get cheap and cute clothes there, handmade, local and super cute. (You definitely need to go to the National Theatre Market; they have extremely cute and comfy flowy cotton patterned pants).

~I'm trying to think of more but can't right now, it will come to me later :)

Also, did you bring a converter for the British plugs?

- I did bring a plug and you will need to, I brought one or two and then ended up buying an extension cord with US plugs on it to charge multiple things at once. You might also want to bring an extra phone charger if you have an Iphone. Mine broke while I was there and had to wait until my friend sent one over. There is an apple store in Kampala but I'm sure its a leg and a half for anything.

Carry cash over ? I see and you mentioned that credit cards charge 4-8% and not widely accepted. Seems USD accepted .. Curious.

- I brought a good amount of cash at first, about a thousand. It's nice to have cash because there is not little charges with it, since you can just exchange it at the bureaus which are everywhere. I think the Ugandan Shilling is worth about 3,200 to 1 USD. I am with Bank of America and they have a connection with a Ugandan bank called Barclays of which you can pull money out from the ATM but I believe there is a little charge that goes with that. I would exchange all your money when you get there in town (find the best conversion rate). Maybe leave like $100 in USD just in case. I know the UG Visa is $50 dollars on arrival and that will last you anywhere from 1-3 months depending on the mood of the attendant (Unfortunately, let the corruption begin).

Did you register at embassy?

- I did not register at the embassy and I never actually visited it either. So, I don't know anything about it.

Did you buy travel insurance? If so- which company did you use?

- Also, I didn't buy traveler's insurance. I looked into it but didn't see it as a dire need and I'm glad I didn't spend money on it.


- The plan ride went a lot faster than I had expected! I had a one hour flight from Oregon to Seattle, a 15 hour flight from Seattle to Abu Dubai (with a long 14 hour layover) and then a five hour flight to Entebbe, Uganda. But it for sure went by SO fast which I am thankful for. The Dubai layover was long and if I prepared/saved more I definitely would have explored around there more. But, overall it went by fast and I enjoyed flying with Delta and Emirates. My tip: sleep when you're tired and don't sleep when you're not. Seems simple but it will help it go by and will help you adjust to the time change.

So excited for your adventure, and once you leave I'll definitely be keeping up with you on FB/email and will want to hear about all the fun you're having :)

I am finished with classes until late September. In the meantime I just started working full-time so I will be doing that until I move in September.

When do you leave??

Webale Nyo (Thank you!)