I made it to Entebbe in record time. I was pretty pleased with how quickly we moved along, particularly since the beginning of my morning hand not gone as planned (well, the entire last week, for that matter)!
When I arrived I learned that the computer system was down, which meant a really long wait*. And the longer the wait, the longer the lineups around me became. I’m not an overly patient person at the best of times, but it’s even worse when I’m overtired and over heated**. However, I channelled my inner former retail-worker and tried to be upbeat and positive, even though all I really wanted to do was take a nap and pee***.
As the wait time grew longer, the various groups of passengers began to intermingle, making small chat, if for no other reason than to pass the time. I happened to be behind a rather large family, and the two younger guys (likely in their mid-teens) began to strike up a conversation with me. I learned they were from Somalia originally, but had spent the last ten months in Uganda awaiting their paperwork to be processed so they could move to the United States.
My first thought was ugh! What a terrible time to be heading there! But they happily chatted about how they were aware of the political issues taking place and how their was the potential for complications once they arrived. We also talked about where they wanted to travel if they could go anywhere in the world, and oddly enough, they said Manchester... NOT because they were UNITED fans, but because they were CITY fans! I thought this was pretty cool...mostly because no one ever admits to being a City fan! But that led to a further chat about my experience living there. They were also just such polite, well spoken kids****.
Eventually the line began to move forward, and the couple behind me - an American couple - inquired about where they might be headed. I gave them the Coles Notes version, and instead of the usual response I’ve received, or heard stories of, the male half of the couple walked right up to them and told welcomed them to his country! It was amazing. They also offered to provide contact information to the group just in case they had any struggles upon arrival or while they were getting settled!
None of us knew each other. But there’s an incredible sense of solidarity that forms in lineups when there’s an issue at the other end. I thought this was a pretty incredible act, and wanted to pass it along. We’ve all been reading, hearing, and seeing some less than stellar examples of humanity these days, so felt a story like this needed to be shared.
-the Orange Canadian
*You may be pleased to know that I held my 40 lbs. backpack on my shoulders for about an hour before conceding to the heat and wait time! Also a record... or just plain stupid.
**The two worst types of “over” anything, if you ask me!
***Not necessarily in that order!
****Not because they are from Somalia, but because they are teenagers, and that era of current human appears to have lost the ability to use proper sentences, or just speak, in general, without using abbreviations or acronyms that people over the age of 30 don’t understand....