We finally made it!!! Oh man I am tired! The day began in Istanbul. I woke up at 3:00 in the morning and then fell in and out of sleep until 6. We packed our bags and headed down to get breakfast. After a filling meal, Mom, Ian, Grandma, my mom’s colleague Larissa, and I went to explore the old city. First we went to the Blue Mosque, which was closed for Friday prayers, so we went to the Hagia Sophia. Next we went to the cistern, which was really cool. Next we went to lunch and then to the Grand Bazaar. My brother bought a golden turtle and my mom bought a beautiful lantern and a ring. Outside the bazaar my grandma got a Turkish rug. Then we walked back home where I crashed on a couch in the lobby. When I woke up I was getting rushed into a taxi to go to the airport. We were running late and the traffic was terrible. But as soon as we told the driver he went total ‘Amazing Race’ on us, swerving through lanes and speeding. We arrived at the airport twenty minutes after boarding time. We ran through the crowds, pushing and shoving to get to our gate and when we finally did…. They hadn’t even started boarding.
We flew safely to Uganda where our driver, Abdul, picked us up and drove us to the capital city, Kampala. We arrived at the hotel 5:30am. We unpacked and waited until 7am when we went to breakfast – I as hungry and ate pancakes, eggs, toast, passion fruit juice, croissants, and muffins. At 9am we were picked up by Abdul and drove to the source of the Nile in Jinja. On the way we stopped at a waterfall where we took a little tour. We took a boat ride out onto the Nile to an island near the river’s source. Next, we waded out into the river to get to the exact spot where the river begins to flow. Back in Kampala, we went to an awesome Indian restaurant called Khanna Khazana.
It feels so amazing to be back here, to be with the people, to see the sights, to smell the smells. It feels way different from last time. It feels more familiar instead of being totally foreign. My brother is probably feeling what I felt last time. Now I feel like one of the pack, part of the group. It feels like a home away from home. I feel happier and more relaxed than I have felt in awhile and can’t wait for all I’m going to do this week.
Ray Wipfli, RUFC founder, shares his thoughts.