Well, we made it. We arrived in Kampala, Uganda a couple weeks ago, and it has been a whirlwind so far. The days have been busy, meeting new people, seeing new places, and starting to figuring out life here. One of the major things we have been figuring is our transportation situation.
Last time I was here, I (Nick) came without the family, so transportation was simple. Jump in a car with a friend, take a quick taxi ride, or just hoof it. However, plus a wife and two little kids, transportation becomes significantly more complicated. After several days of bumming rides from some local friends, Sarah and I decided that we wanted our own wheels. We searched a couple of local Facebook groups for options, and came across a reasonably priced SUV. We looked into it, and a Ugandan friend and I went to see it. To my pleasant surprise, it was a diesel! Petrol, known as gasoline to us Americans, is quite expensive here, going for about $1.50 per liter, which translates to about $5.00 per gallon. But diesel is decidedly cheaper, is supposed to get better fuel economy, and sounds way cooler! So, after some brief negotiations, we agreed on a price, and that the seller would take care of transferring the vehicle to our name, which was well worth it! The Uganda version of the DMV makes the US version look like a fun place to hang out. So, The Eidens are mobile!
So, after buying the car, I had to drive it. Now, this seems like an obvious statement. But, in Uganda, we drive on the left, and the driver sits in the right seat. Not only that, but add in traffic of a city of several million people, and very lax traffic rules, and you understand why my hopping into the drivers seat for the first time, in the vehicle I just bought, was a little stressful. However, shortly into the maiden voyage, I realized that the driving shouldn't have been my big concern. Rather, navigation is rather difficult here. There are very few road signs, and if you ask for directions, wherever you are going is "just over there." But, we are starting to figure it out, mostly though a combination of nightly map studying and daily trial and error, emphasis on the error.
We spend quite a bit of time driving most days, because Kampala is a big place, and we like exploring (even if some of it is unintentional exploring). After having me be the chauffeur for the first while, Sarah has taken the helm a few times, learning her way around our righthand-drive car and the city. This is great because she can get around herself some, without all of us in tow when she is headed to the school or elsewhere. She's doing great! She gets through the rough roads of our neighborhood smoothly, and drives with just enough aggression to get a turn at the busy intersections with no traffic control at all (you just have to decide it is your turn and let the other drivers know that you're going to go now!)
So, we feel very blessed to have our own means of transport, and yes, we hauled carseats for both kiddos all the way here. The vehicle looks very African on the outside, but still has some of our American life on the inside!