Thursday, July 9, 2015

Crossing the Equator... Twice.

Living in a country that sat on the equator was not nearly as hot as I anticipated it being. Yes, we were covered in sweat every single day. And yes, sometimes you wanted to die because of the heat. But it wasn't anything that I hadn't experienced previously. And we also didn't get sun burned like we anticipated (I only really used sunscreen a few times actually). For being on the equator and super close to the sun, you would have figured differently. 

Anyway, this blog post is not about my adaptation to the Ugandan heat, nor is it about how infrequently my pasty skin charred in the sun. Rather, it is about the adventures we had crossing the equator. 
When Caitlin and a few of the volunteers were going home, we rode a bus to Kampala and had a private hire take us down to the equator. Our driver, Steven, was so much fun. He turned the seats around in his car so we were all facing each other, and we cruised through the city and down to the equator line. 
The equator itself is not super exciting. It is just a line painted on the ground with a north and south indicator, but it was still really cool to go to. Caitlin had the life goal of standing in the north and southern hemispheres at the same time. How cool that she got to accomplish that while we were in Uganda! 
And in case we didn't know where we were at, there was a giant map that laid out where the equator was. 
At the equator there was also a set of basins that you could pour water in to see how it drained, clockwise in the north, counterclockwise in the south, and straight down on the equator line. Pretty cool, right? We tested it out with an overheated water bottle we left in the car. 
After going to the equator, Steven told us that the fastest way back would be to take a ferry. He asked us if that was ok, and we all eagerly agreed. Take a ferry in Uganda and enjoy Lake Victoria? Yes, please! 
The ferry was great because it looked like it was about to fall apart, yet they crammed half a dozen cars, a mountain of motorcycles, and even more passengers onto it, and we trudged along across the lake to get to Entebbe (the city where the airport is).
Once we got to Entebbe, we had time to get one last Ugandan meal and hang out in a park before taking everyone to the airport. This was one of the hardest days for me since I had to drop Caitlin off at the airport knowing that I wouldn't see her again for 8 weeks. But it was also a great day because I picked up my sister from the airport to stay in Uganda for 6 weeks. 

And of course, after Carley's 6 weeks in Uganda, we had to do another trip to the equator to explore, buy souvenirs, and relish in the awesomeness that is being in both hemispheres at the same time.
And of course, we did almost the exact same route that we did before, same driver and everything. The equator has dozens of little shops where you can buy souvenirs, and it also has a couple of restaurants. We opted to go to a restaurant that donated all proceeds to an organization that helps children with HIV/AIDS. It was a really good meal too. By that time, I was so sick of Ugandan food that I would always order US food at restaurants, even if it wasn't truly American. I think I got a chicken salad wrap thing. So much better than matoke. 
After heading back to Entebbe, Dillon and I had a few days before he flew out, so we created a video for Help International and wrote some reports. Actually, we wrote a TON of reports. We had done so much work in the time we were there and procrastinated all of our reporting. Needless to say, we had very little conversation as we spent all day inside on our computers. 

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