Saturday, 10 May 2014

Surprise... I'm home! :-)

Yesterday I gave my family the best surprise ever by arriving home 3 days earlier than expected! In doing so I completely ruined their plans to surprise me at the airport on Monday but it was totally worth it to see the expressions on their faces :-)

I started off by paying a little visit to my sister at work who burst in to tears as soon as she saw me, then I went to visit my nan who hugged me for a full 10 minutes without letting go and then I went to see my mum, who I think was the most shocked to see me, and my little niece Eva who went all shy! Later on I went to pick my older niece Olivia up from school who saw me, looked confused and then realised who it was and ran to me with a big grin on her face and then we all went home for a big family dinner.... it is so good to be home!

So to back track a little I should probably explain...

After I arrived in Goma a couple of days ago we were discussing my epic 3 day trip to Entebbe when Kakule pointed out that it was possible to fly from Kigali to Entebbe in 45 minutes instead of taking the bus for 10 hours and that if we left Goma in the morning, we could reach Kigali in the afternoon and I could fly to Entebbe that evening. I did a quick calculation of times in my head and realised that as my BA flight to London left at 1am in the morning, if I also changed that I could leave Goma in the morning and be back in the UK almost 24 hours later which is what I did.

So after a LONG day of travelling from the Congo through Rwanda to Uganda and on to the UK I arrived back in London yesterday. I am completely exhausted, still recovering from typhoid and don't want to ever leave home again (although I know that will change in a few weeks once I have recovered!). I am thoroughly enjoying having the luxuries of electricity and running water and last night I had the one thing that I had missed more than anything else in the 5 weeks I was away... a hot bath! :-)

It was a very successful trip, one that I am very glad that I did and one that I am very thankful I have returned from safely. I was very lucky to meet some wonderful people and some amazing children while I was there. I owe a huge debt of thanks to a lot of people in DRC including Kakule, Joesph, Roger, Elvis, Jeff, Alexis, Steve, Bernard and so many other people who helped me on my trip and also to my new friend Kathryn in the states, without the help of whom I'm not sure I would have been brave enough to go and do this trip and I'm sure it certainly wouldn't have been such a successful one.

Finally, a huge THANK YOU to all my family and friends who have supported me from that first day when I finally uttered the words "I'm going to go and help orphans in the Congo" and for all the donations that made it possible for me to help as many orphans as I did while I was there. I have only just scratched the surface though and there is still lots more that needs to be done so this is definitely not the end of my time in the Congo. I'm sure there will be many more missions in the future...

Bye for now...

Hannah x

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