Whew! After 12.5 days in the US, just yesterday I landed in Uganda and spent my first night back in Kampala. As my only trip to the US during my year fellowship with GHC, I certainly tried to make the most of my time back in the States. After seeing my sister in Vermont for one night and spending 4 days at Lake George for the wedding, I flew to Chicago with my boyfriend, Nick. I spent the next week in Evanston attending some of the orientation events for the MBA program he is starting at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. It was great to have the chance to see where he lives, visit his school, meet his classmates, and explore the lovely town of Evanston which sits right on Lake Michigan. Between attending many of the events at Kellogg with Nick, I was able to get plenty of rest, eat some delicious food, and stock up before leaving the US for the next 10.5 months. Though it felt far too short and I absolutely loved Evanston, I was also ready to get back to my new home and job by the time that my flight rolled around early Monday morning.
On the way back home, Emirates Airlines had booked me for a 20 hour layover in Dubai. As a genius way to encourage tourism, they provide you with free transportation, meals, and hotel if a long layover like this has to be scheduled in your itinerary. I was fortunate enough to spend the day with a close friend from college, Ravi, who is currently living in Abu Dhabi and drove up for the day to play the role of *awesome* tour guide. In a span of only ten hours together, we:
- Dipped our feet in the water of the Gulf at one of the public beaches
- Photo opp in front of Burj Al Arab, supposedly the most luxurious hotel in the world
- Had lunch in the Madinat Jumeirah Resort (largest in Dubai) which is designed to look like a traditional Arabian town
- Spent a few hours swimming at the Atlantis Resort’s pool, complete with tropical drinks and sheesha; this resort is built on an artificial island in the shape of a palm tree, called Palm Jumeriah
- Visited The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest mall based on total area, including their aquarium which brags the world’s largest acrylic panel
- Ate dinner with a few of his friends near the The Dubai Fountain, the world’s largest choreographed fountain show
- Did I mention the fountain show is set right in front of the tallest building in the world, Burq Khalifa, at 2,722 feet tall?
And there it is! I’m hoping to travel back to my town of Kasese in just a few days and am excited to see my friends/coworkers/neighbors/community and to get back into the swing of things here. Looking forward to many more months of learning, exploring, and eating my way through Uganda!