Thursday, July 05, 2007

bamboozled on the equator

The first few steps off the plane in Entebbe in January flooded my senses - that woodsmoke smell and the vague dampness in the sun-drenched equatorial air. Walking down the steps onto the tarmac I breathed out the dry, recirculated Heathrow air and took in huge gulps of Uganda. Six months later I looked out the rain-streaked plate glass window and saw a sky full of thick, blank clouds. I shuffled out of the plane and felt goosebumps from the cold. It felt just like March in Washington.

Rainy season technically ended in May in Uganda, but I learned from expats and locals alike that the weather has been very strange here lately. The temperatures are cool and the rain pours down a couple times per day. It's thrown me for a complete loop and I can't help but wonder if maybe Mr. Gore is onto something. Shivering at night in my travel sheets certainly feels like climate change.

The combination of the unruly weather and that 12-hour transitory gap in Dubai rocked my physical and mental well-being. After running this morning (dodging Ugandan pedestrians, boda bodas and pits of thick red mud), I almost collapsed while brushing my teeth. Instead of feeling invigorated and excited, I'm feeling completely disoriented - as if a giant magnet messed with my internal compass. Where am I?

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