first impressions

so much to tell already… africa is amazing.

the first thing i noticed when i arrived at the tiny airport in entebbe were all of the scents. they permeated everything. the most prominent was b.o., especially in the crowded space as the workers with bright pink jumpsuits handled all the baggage. (on a side-note, i was SO proud to fit everything i needed in a carry-on and one pack weighing in at 34 pounds! yes!) even on the ride to campus the smells changed every mile or so – chickens, fires, and plenty other odors of a questionable nature.

the roads are CRAZY! 2 lane roads become at any given point a 3-4 lane road. boda-boda’s swerve through every which way, and the horn has multiple uses, none of which include warning another driver.

a group of us walked through kampala, the capital, the other day. it felt more like a parade, because we rarely walked by anyone that didn’t stare the entire time. the common phrase here is Mzungu! it basically means, rich white americans! it’s not really a slam, more of a statement. it does get old, but it’s kind of hard to blend in..

so far, i’ve had the chance to see the city, a bit of the country, lake victoria, and get a taste of african roads. all pretty different =) because we’re set so near lake victoria, the climate and land is very lush – a lot of green vegetation and wildlife that you wouldn’t find in rural areas. for instance, birds. it is not quiet here.. there are a couple bird sounds i didn’t realize were bird sounds.. one sounds exactly like the game catch phrase, another like a psychotic old man laughing: i really don’t know how else to describe it. still another like a crow sound, and then plenty of others that just sound like birds. this morning i woke up to a monkey outside my window making noise.. it’s usually either that or people. Ugandans do not value sleep here needless to say.

every afternoon right on queue, it rains — no, pours. so right now i’m sitting under a metal roof and can barely hear anything because it’s raining so hard. luckily i picked a good spot and have managed to dodge the rain that is leaking through so far. it’s surprisingly cold when it rains and in the mornings and evenings. the hottest it has been so far is about 78 or so. this is normal for this time of year, being right below the equator. (inadvertantly, since i know you all want to know – i don’t know if the toilets flush in the opposite direction, because the only toilet i’ve used is a hole in the ground. i’ll update you accordingly)

on saturday i’m off to Rwanda for a coupld of weeks. it didn’t look far on the map, but judging from the roads so far, i’m guessing it will take around 10 hours. after i get back, i’ll start classes at UCU.

i feel like this was a really long post, but at the same time, i’m barely touching on everything i’ve seen and done thus far. the campus is…interesting.. and i’ll post pictures as soon as i feel like waiting forever for them to upload. everything takes 2 or 3 times as long, assuming that the electricity doesn’t cut out in the meantime. if you do want to write, it takes about a week for letters. any and all are welcome. here is the address:
Sarah Bury USP
c/o Uganda Christian University
PO Box 4
Mukono, Uganda

well, i’m sure i missed out on some important details. i’m feeling a little scatterbrained and a lot is already blending together. don’t know when i’ll post again – probably after Rwanda. Thank you all for your prayers and emails and thoughts.



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16 responses to “first impressions

  1. Joan Barrette

    It was so good to hear from you. It sounds like a fabulous experience, and you’re doing well. You remain in my prayers and I look forward to the next blog.


  2. I’m glad you made it there safely. You are the ONLY girl I know who can fit all of her stuff for 4 months in a carry-on and pack. Proud of ya!:) You’re blogs will never be too long. Praying for your stamina, health and dependence on God alone. enjoy Rwanda. much love.

  3. Kathy

    Hey, Bury! So glad you made it there safely and I’ll pray for safety as you visit Rwanda. And I second Katie Beth’s thought about your blogs will never be too long! We’re all living vicariously through you since there’s little chance we’ll ever get to do what you’re doing! Love ya, girl!

  4. Bekah

    Ok, could you make me any more jealous??? Good to hear from you, Sar….. tell the monkeys they can have Luke, he’s been driving me nuts. Things are good here, I started school yesterday and I actually enjoy some of my classes (despite the fact that none are in Uganda!). By the way, I’ve been having fun driving your car! Don’t worry, I’m treating it nice. I hope you’re taking lots of pictures!!!!!!! Miss you and love you, Bekah

  5. Caleb

    Hey there sis, I just wish that I could be where you are right now. No people calling the house, no cell phones, and most importantly, no stupid email… Yeah I started school and ROTC. I am really glad to hear that you made it safe over there, no drunken pilots. Well I am super busy, just wanted to let you know I have not forgot about you. Be safe and have fun because not all of us are in a position to!!!

    Talk to you soon.


  6. Bt.

    My hair products, alone, weigh 34 pounds…

  7. Crystal

    Bury, that’s awesome! You’re so good at this. Have fun; if I can find a way to send a letter from the Czech Republic to Uganda, I will do it. 🙂

  8. Tammie


    So glad to hear you arrived safe and sound and that you are enjoying the culture of Uganda (and soon Rowanda). It sounds very exciting. We miss your smiling face here at Census! Ms. Vonnie whipped up a mean vanilla latte for Kim and I yesterday…….:). I loved the blog — it couldn’t be long enough; I love all the details! I will continue to pray for you and will look forward to your next blog. Be safe and have a blast! Tammie

  9. Kellie

    So awesome to read your blog! Glad to hear you arrived safe and sound.
    You will be in my prayers and can’t wait to read your next entry!
    (one carry-on and bag?? Impressive!)
    Be careful and enjoy!

  10. Momma Northeimer

    Hi Sarah,

    I was reading on Kaitlyn’s blog when I saw a link to yours and thought I would see how you were doing. I am glad to hear that you arrived safely and are “enjoying” all of the sights and sounds and smells of a new continent. I am praying for you and looking forward to checking in on you from time to time to see what you are learning and what God is teaching. God bless you.

    Momma Northeimer

  11. Gary Mason


    A chip off the old block…now we need to get your dad back to Africa for 4 months instead of two weeks!

    What a GREAT opportunity for you, we are just delighted to be able to share a little bit in your African adventure. No post is too long, and I can ALMOST smell the “scents” you are describing myself!

    Have a wonderful time, we will be praying for you and will check back often!


  12. Luke

    Hi, Sar
    Unlike most everbody I DON’T wish I was in africa
    though I hope you are having a good time. Talk later (I’m not gonna spend my valuable time talking to you).
    Your FAVORITE brother


  13. mentz

    I miss you a lot. I told some girls on my hall about you today…told them that you are so awesome and that you are totally in Uganda right now. I was so glad to hear that travel and stuff went well, and now you are there and SOAKING it all in…I KNOW that you are! I am super excited for you to go to Rwanda and love love love it.
    RAing is going well…so different but so good. I miss you in clusters and being down the hall. It will be a good year. A hard year, but a good year.
    I LOVE you. Love love Love you.

  14. David

    Hey…..glad to hear you got there. Sounds like a cool experience so far. Monkeys outside of your window!!!!! Watch your back, those little freaky things can play trixy.

    BB, Sam, Elijah and Lilli say hello.

    Oh yea, Herky the goat says hi too (kinda like this “SSSSAAAARRRRAAA”). We have been working on his vocabulary, but I cannot find a real reason why he is still so resistant. You know how american goats can be, so spoiled. It seems to have gotten worse since he made the cover of Capra Aegagrus Hircus Weekly. Now he wants to have a ear and horn tuck.

    Gotta run… is so difficult here……seems that my air conditioning is not cold enough, my fresh coffee is not to proper taste, and I have this strong desire to flush to toliet in your honor. To hear the rushing sound and watch the blue clean water spin round and round and round and round and round….sorry got caught up.

    Rock on sister-of- the-African-continent sledge.

  15. Jessi

    Church class tonight, and you won’t be there. Shame.

    Maybe you can try to bring one of those psychotic laughing old man birds home.

    Glad you’re having an awesome time!

  16. Tammie

    You’d be so proud of me. I walked up the steps today — out of breath for 10 minutes, but I did it…in your honor!…LOL

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