There is no way for you to truly appreciate the condition of the Ugandan roads without being here or seeing a picture but I have tried numerous times to insert a picture but without success.

I was in Masaka over the weekend checking up on the girls in the Timothy Centre. I spoke at length with the matron and checked out a number of clinics in the area closest to the centre….. I was surprised to find one I think will work. Took one of the girls to a clinic for treatment. Did some shopping for essentials like coffee, cookies, mops and brooms etc….. I also spent a large amount of money and bought medications at a local pharmacy and all this was done because I had a driver taking me to all these various places.

Each time I have been in Masaka…. someone suggests I learn to drive…. I have a driver’s license from the province of British Columbia, Canada but I have never driven on the left side of the road. Which is the way they drive in Uganda. I have gotten as far as booking a date and time but it has never worked out. This morning we have a van full of people, medications and baggage. It is a very full van…. we are only a few minutes out of Masaka when Mark pulls over and gives me the wheel. The first few minutes were somewhat unnerving…. I was driving too close to the side of the road where the people, bikes and motorcycles travel….. it was a fairly quiet road and the pavement was good with yellow lines down the middle…… after some minutes I started to feel very comfortable….. but I realized I needed to focus…. because it would not come naturally to be driving on the left… my mind is use to the other side of the road…. I am however driving a van with left side steering wheel which makes it a little easier…..

The road to Kibaale has a big problem….. the last 10 miles is a dirt road and just a few minutes into the dirt road is an area which is covered with water…. it has not helped that we have had rain. The two large puddles or lakes are so deep that it comes above the wheels. I have heard stories about how the transport trucks have been stuck in the mud below the deep waters….. This portion of the road has been a problem for years …. from small puddles to large lakes….. the water does not drain off the road but remains causing deep ruts of mud. If there is a road department they do not know about this problem….

We heard that there is another route into Kibaale…. there have been many questions…. the condition of the road, how much longer will it take, are there signs to indicate the way…… nevertheless, it was felt by all that we needed to check out this alternate route … and I did the driving…. The road was well paved and great. The sign directing us towards Kibaale was covered with someone’s jacket and it was only because someone in the van knew the route were we able to turn at the correct place. The last 21 miles or is it kilometers was dirt road. The condition was better than the other route into Kibaale….. but it was a narrow road with just enough room for two cars or vehicles to pass….. the little of the scenery I saw was breathtaking…. it was a few miles or kilometers longer but we arrived in Kibaale earlier than we expected and came in a back route to the surprise of all.

It was fun to finally drive in Uganda ….it gave me some freedom and confidence in the fact I can drive these roads…..

The rest of the day….. many of the locals…. teachers, clinic staff and a few of the older students asked me if it was true that I drove the van from Masaka…….this maybe the first step in me driving the road from Kibaale to Masaka and back on my own….. only time will tell.

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