Considering Joining Us for a Mission Trip?
Make sure you have a passport. Your visa will be obtained when you arrive at the Entebbe airport. The cost of the visa is included in the total cost of your trip. You also need to make an appointment at your local health department. Tell them you are traveling to Uganda, Africa. They will tell you what medications are required. Don’t wait until the last minute to do this as some medications are to be taken in advance of your trip. They will give you a list of recommended shots, but it is up to you if you get them. The only required one is the yellow fever shot. There is a charge for these shots that you will be responsible for.
What do I wear while traveling? Keep in mind that it will take a full day of travel each way. It is a long, difficult journey so you want to dress very comfortably. Because of airport security, it feels like you are continually removing your shoes. You may want to wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off.
What do I wear while in Africa? It is always hot in Uganda, so dress accordingly. For men, walking shorts and hiking boots are acceptable. For ladies, dresses, slacks, and capris will be fine. Everyone needs to wear closed-toed shoes at all times.
Keep in mind that some team members will feel led by the Lord to give their clothes away before returning home. One team member that has been to Africa numerous times buys all of his mission trip clothes at Goodwill, and then leaves them with the school teachers we serve. One lady I know went to Africa and came home as she says, “With my wedding ring and the clothes on my back.” You are certainly not in any way expected to give your clothes away, unless God tells you to do so.
Don’t over pack! The hotel will wash your clothes for a small charge. You may have one carry-on piece of luggage not more than 45 linear inches (l+w+h) and a backpack or laptop case or purse. Put a copy of your passport in each bag. Any items in your carry-on piece must not be more than 3 ounces (deodorant, perfume, aftershave, etc.) and should be packed in large, clear plastic bags and placed in your luggage.
Some items you will want to bring with you as you travel are below.
Make sure your medications are not about to expire.
Yellow fever card
Camera with extra batteries, memory card, film, etc.
Wash cloths – Towels will be provided by the hotel.
Upset stomach medications – You or someone you love will need them!
Bible – For a special blessing, plan to give it away
Spending money (souvenirs, food at airport, have laundry washed)
Snacks for afternoon or bedtime munchies
Crystal Light On The Go, water additive
Protective case for passport and tickets
Prescription medications (make sure they are not about to expire)
Three or four changes of clothes (The hotel will wash your clothes inexpensively.)
A good hat that offers sun protection
Insect repellent containing DEET
Good reading material for the plane and the bus
Ear plugs, neck pillows, and blind folds for the flights
Electrical appliance transformer (converter) available at Wal-Mart
Your spending money should be placed in an envelope with your name on it. We will go to the bank and exchange our American dollars for Ugandan shillings. The best exchange rate will be given for $100.00 bills that are no older than 2003. They must be clean and have no markings on them. Do not fold your American money because that will put a crease in it.
Always stay with someone. No one should go off by themselves.
Do not take pictures of bridges or dams. This is illegal.
Dr. Gene Waites has been on scores of mission trips and has never one time taken sick. He credits taking an antibiotic, such as Cipro, each day he is out of the country for keeping him healthy.
I have explained to our host pastors that we are not coming to be fed, but to feed. On past trips, they have served us their very best food while hungry children watched us eat. No more! We will have breakfast each morning at the hotel. The hotel will be providing sack lunches for us. Then we will eat a hot meal when we return late in the afternoon. Stay away from uncooked food, like tomatoes, salads, etc. Bring heavy snacks for munchies.
You may think I have a hard, cold heart when you read this, but I promise once we get to Africa you will understand. You will be approached by children who will be begging and it will break your heart. If you give even a few pennies to one child, you and the entire mission team will be mobbed by people wanting money. For the safety of the mission team, I must ask that you not give money to beggars.
Our return flight leaves Entebbe at the end of a long, hot day in Uganda. The Entebbe airport provides showers at no charge. You will feel much better on the return trip with a fresh shower, so keep the items you need for a shower in your backpack or carry-on.