Archive for September 20th, 2014

September 20, 2014

Why Hello Again Kampala!

The flight into Entebbe was smooth. Because the flight was arriving really late, Brittany arranged a driver to pick me up. When I walked out the gate I found him holding up a paper with my name on it. I didn’t arrive at Brittany’s apartment in Kampala until midnight. The next day I took time to visit with EMI folks. I went to a quality craft market with Carey and Sarah in the morning, and then in the afternoon walked over to visit Emily and Paula. It had been so long since I had been there that I needed Brittany to draw me a map! That morning there was a warning published by the US embassy for all US citizens to find a safe place and stay put because there was an antiterrorist operation in Kampala. EMI took it seriously because they said that in the many years of being in Kampala they had never received a warning that sounded so serious. I still felt okay walking around as long as I stayed in the immediate neighbourhood. We decided to eat in though instead of going to Cafe Roma as planned. Carey and Sarah picked up Indian on their way over and we all enjoyed dinner and a movie together. It was an odd feeling to be back but it was wonderful to see everyone again after two years. The next day I went to the church service at Heritage (most people came despite the warning but there was extra security). After church I packed up and then headed over to Shalom Guesthouse to meet the strangers that I would be traveling with to Beni and working with for the next few months. Those strangers would quickly become friends and colleagues!

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September 20, 2014

Louvain-la-Neuve and Leuven

Grand Markt

St├ęphanie lives an hour outside of Brussels in Louvain-la-Neuve. It is very much a student town that is only forty years old. It is an interesting town because it was built on top of a valley and so the cars drive beneath the city center. The whole city center is pedestrian and the academic buildings are mixed with shops and restaurants. Since Stephanie had to work during the days, I took one of the afternoons to visit the town of Leuven. Stephanie had recommended I visit the town of Bruges, Leuven, and Nider, but I had to be content to visit only one because I wanted to stay within my stopover budget. Leuven is a really nice city. It is smaller than Brussels but has wonderful historic buildings. It is also a university town that had a vibrant energy. I was confused at first because I thought Louvain and Leuven where different places, but one is just the french spelling and the other the flemish way. Supposedly the university used to be flemish and french until they had conflict and split up. The french part moved out and built what is now Louvain-la-Neuve (the New). The first evening I went to choir practice with Stephanie and the next night to have dinner with her family to celebrate her sister’s birthday. I didn’t mind the social interaction because I was happy to have the chance to practice my french before moving on to african french. Les amies et la famille de Stephanie ├ętaient sympa!

Leuven Town Hall