[ Uganda, Africa Mission Journal â€“ Entry 3 ]
LONDON – MARCH 11, 2012 – Getting to Uganda is two days of flying and waiting. I don’t mind the flying part. I can sit at the window and try to tell what things are from 30,000 feet. The green patchwork quilt of the countryside. The crooked switchbacks of the rivers. The little dark pockmarks of man made watering holes, and the larger blue and brown irregular shapes of natural lakes. The towns, like nuclei of nerve cells, tentacles of road stretching out connecting them to the larger cells of cities. Looking down on those clusters of our creation from so many miles above, there is nothing to distinguish affluence from urban blight. Only closer to the ground do things start to separate. Only on the ground does it make a difference at all. From above even New York and London and Kampala are just blemishes on the immensity of the landscape.
The waiting part happens in the alternate reality of airports. Each one is an enclosed cosmos of restaurant chains and shops and waiting areas. And we make our way from one to the next without ever going outside. The hours between flights are filled up with waiting in line. It all starts with the line for check-in. Then there is the line at security where you take off your shoes and empty your pockets and take your turn getting scanned. Each flight has a line for boarding. At the end of it all, there is the Customs line. And for every line, there is the general line and the first class, priority access, get out of jail free line. I prefer the general line (what a lier I am). After all what would we do with all that extra time if we whizzed through all the lines like the first class lot?
But in the end, it is hours in an airplane seat, trying to get some sleep and thinking about what stayed behind and what lies ahead.