HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE TRIP
Passport: A valid passport is required for entry intoUganda. Please make sure that your passport is not expired.
Visa: A single entry visa is required for entry intoUganda. An entry visa forUnited States, Canadian and Mexican citizens can be obtained at theEntebbe airport inUganda, upon our arrival. We are suggesting that everyone on the team proceeds this way. You will need to present your passport, your medical card showing you have been vaccinated for yellow fever, and US$50 at the visa desk at the airport to receive your visa.
Vaccinations: All team members must receive a Yellow Fever vaccination prior to leaving the United States. Consult with your physician on other recommended vaccinations.
Medications: It is strongly recommended that all team members take anti-Malaria medication as a preventative.
Spending Money: All of your hotels, safari, meals, and transportation expenses are covered in the cost of the trip. Your only out-of-pocket expenses will be for additional food, beverages, or souvenirs, and US $50 for your visa upon arrival. There will be opportunities on the trip to purchase souvenirs. We suggest bringing US$100-300 in cash or traveler’s checks, also, one major credit card for emergency.
Exchanging money: For the best rate and easiest method of exchanging money you will need to bring US$100 bills dated 2003 or newer for exchange.
Emergency Medical Insurance: We strongly encourage you to purchase trip insurance. The travel agent offers both medical and trip insurance for cancellation. If you have your own, please feel free to use what works best for you.
Emergency Contact Information: Please provide the team leader with a contact name and phone number for us to contact on your behalf in case of an emergency.
Luggage: Each team member is limited to one piece of check-in luggage weighing not more than 50 lbs and one carry-on.
WHAT TO TAKE:
Dress: As a general rule, dress should be modest, but comfortable. We recommend light weight clothing. It will be warm and humid. Rain is also a good possibility at times. Men, in particular, should plan to bring ample shirts. With the exception of church services on Sunday, men can wear comfortable slacks or jeans, t-shirts or light-weight short sleeve shirts. Women can wear comfortable slacks or pants for free time and non-ministry activities, however long dresses or capris are appropriate when engaged in ministry. Shoes should also be comfortable. Tennis shoes/walking shoes would be appropriate. Sandals if durable and water proof, due to the possibility of rain and mud. For church on Sunday, the Ugandan people will come wearing their best. Women should wear a full-length sundress. (No pants). Men should wear slacks, and a dress shirt. Ties are recommended but not required.
Other Recommended Items:
- Compact Umbrella
- Light Jacket – evenings can be cool
- Prescription medications/toiletries
- Travel pillow
- Special Electrical outlet adaptor-Africa uses 220v three-prong outlets
- Imodium capsules
- Malaria tablets (We may provide)
- Bug spray –DEET as the active ingredient- purchase at REI- get the 100% DEET
- Basic nose/ear/throat/pain relief medications
- Antibiotics (Broad Spectrum)
- Film and replacement batteries
- Anti-bacteria hand gel
- Lip balm
- Hat or baseball cap
- One bottled water (for first morning)
- Small backpack for day trips
- Notepad for journaling
- Snack food (nuts/trail mix)-
- Protein Bars- The diet inUgandahas little protein in it.
- Laptop Computers and personal resources – It is recommended that you extra batteries for your computer, as the power is off more than 50% of the time.
MORE THINGS TO KNOW
Weather: The temperature will be in the 70’s and 80’s with high humidity, cooling off in the evenings. There is also the possibility of an occasional rain shower.
Security: As is the case in traveling to any foreign country or even our own country, we need to be aware of the possible security risks. When we travel through the city and villages, be mindful of petty theft such as pick-pockets. There are some basic common-sense things to do to maximize your security:
- Avoid breaking away from your group
- Never go anywhere alone. Always have someone with you, and communicate to others where you are going.
- Simple things like keeping your camera in your backpack out-of-sight, avoiding flamboyant/expensively looking dress, wearing jewelry, etc. are some ways to avoid standing out in the crowd and becoming a target.
Bottled Water: Bottled water will be provided for you throughout the trip. If you need more, just ask.
Food: All the food at the hotel should be fine for you to eat. However, if you are one of those adventurous people who like to gamble with their health by eating food from street vendors, my advice would be “if it’s not boiled, or you can’t peel it, don’t eat it!” The risk of getting sick is simply not worth it. There are good stores close by for munchies and drinks.
Alcoholic Beverages: Wine or other alcoholic beverages are appropriate with your meal and in the privacy of your group; however, alcoholic beverages are not included in the cost of the trip. Please pay for these drinks separately. Culturally, the Ugandans with which we are working do not accept drinking as an acceptable behavior when ministering, so we ask that you respect that cultural norm and use discretion.
Gifts for children: Suggestions would be school supplies such as pencils and pens, small toys like balloons, balls, etc. Also, children’s books would be well-received. Before giving anything to children, always check with the program director or ARM staff member. In the villages, more than one child may approach you and ask you to “sponsor them” or ask for money for school, etc. They are well aware of the child sponsorship programs that many foreign aid organizations have and want to experience the same benefit themselves. Please do not give them money and make promises to help. If you feel compelled to help a particular child or situation, please discuss it with an ARM staff member. .
Interaction with the children: You are encouraged to interact with the children as much as possible. Hold them, hug them, and play with them. Show them love in any way possible. When interacting with the village children, here’s one note of caution. Just be aware of where your valuables are and be careful, particularly if you are interacting with several children at one time. Petty theft is a possibility.