I was on 6am – 10am Airport Standby and as I had had two days off prior, I was legally rested for ANY trip. This could have been a ULR (ultra long range) or a 6 day multisector trip. So my case was absolutely packed out with clothes for all trips. I had a bikini yet a winter coat and boots. However about an hour into my standby I was pulled for a layover in Entebbe, Uganda. I was last here around 18 month ago, but I was happy for an easy flight with a beautiful hotel and things I still wanted to do there.
Departing Dubai at 9:50am, it was 5 hours and 18 minutes over to Entebbe International Airport. It’s a long ride over to the hotel so by the time we got there it was almost 4:30pm. I wanted to horse ride around Lake Victoria or take a boat and head across to a little market village but a few of the crew wanted to visit the orphanage as they had brought things with them to donate. So I joined them as it was such a life changing experience last time I visited.
I met the crew at 5:15pm and we made our way across to Sanya Babies Home. We spent a couple of hours here playing with the children, looking after the babies and giving them some chocolate which they went CRAZY for.
As soon as we walked in, they ran up and jumped on us instantly wanting a cuddle and just some affection and attention. My heart breaks for these children who have been brought in by the police after being found alone. If they have no living relatives, they’re taken in by the orphanage who then raise them in different houses for different ages up until university level so they are prepped and given the best outcome for their lives.
Sanya Babies Home is for newborns up until the age of seven and is home to children who despite have had a rough upbringing in life are the happiest smiliest children.
After a few hours and hearing some of the stories of these children, it pained me to leave. The women who dedicate their lives to these children are inspiring. What they do for these children is so incredible, and a day spent with these women and children really gives you that reality check and to appreciate what you have. The way these children’s faces lit up even over a small square of chocolate and for you to give them a cuddle. Heartbreaking.
For any crew reading this, or anyone who is thinking about visiting the beautiful country of Uganda I beg that you just give an hour out of your day to visit these children, or just drop of some donations of things they desperately need. Or for crew, the hotel are happy for you to leave donations for the orphanage with them and the next set of crew that go can take them with them.
The address for the orphanage is: Sanyu Babies’ Home, P.O. Box 14162, Mengo Kampala Uganda
We made our way back to the hotel with heavy hearts, and had some dinner before heading to bed.
I had planned to go to a little market village on the edge of Lake Victoria with some of the crew but they’d all bailed on me by the time I awoke, so I stayed in bed instead and made the most of my lie in before the wake up call to head back to Dubai.
An amazing layover, one that I will forever remember and hold in my heart. As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: