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Travel Diary – June 4, 2023

Written by Kelly Davis

Late night arrival – On the flight to Uganda I finished the book, “Zen and the Art of Happiness,” which puts forth the proposition that you should think of everything that happens to you as the best thing that could have happened to you at that point in time. I decided to give that philosophy a whirl. We made the flight from Brussels to Entebbe with minutes to spare after a 2-hour delay in Newark. We were so close to missing that flight that it was a foregone conclusion that our 12 bags would certainly not make it and we spend hours dealing with that nightmare. They made it! Every last one of them. That alone is a minor miracle when flying to Uganda. So far, so good.

Omaha travelers delayed but not deterred – Our sisters from Omaha were not so lucky. Julie and Donna experienced a one-hour delay on the first leg of their flight which ultimately caused a total of 31 hours of unplanned layovers due to the ripple effect of that delay. Eventually, an angel Rwandan airline worker got them on a flight to Entebbe hours earlier than expected. After hours of planning work-arounds and tense moments wondering when we would be able to meet up with them, they joined our group for a happy reunion on a back street in Kampala (thank you, Aggrey), all drama forgotten, we were on our way.

African Hospitality in the rain – our first destination was the African Hospitality Institute (AHI). It is located well off the main road about halfway between Kampala and Gulu. The beauty of a June trip is that it is not the rainy season, usually. It started pouring about ¼ mile from the AHI so we had to pull over and hoof it the rest of the way. Soaked to the bone, we were met a couple of minutes into our muddy trek by the AHI students carrying umbrellas for us. A very happy site. AHI ( is a hospitality training center started and still run by Maggie Josiah that takes in disadvantaged kids from east African villages and teaches then all facets of the hospitality trade. After a 2-year program their placement rate at 5-star hotels and safari lodges throughout Uganda is over 90%. A wonderful organization (please donate). The rain and meeting all these eager and hardworking kids made this a special stop.

We’re almost there, what could go wrong? – back on the road, looking forward to a 2-hour scenic drive into Gulu, our bus started experiencing a little indigestion. A belt? 2 belts? Who knew. Our intrepid driver, George, with the imaginary assistance from Bruce, got us back on the road and we hobbled into Gulu a little late but no worse for wear. A wonderful late-night dinner with stories from the day ended our night. A perfect day, everything happened exactly the way it was supposed to in Uganda.


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