For the next week Bills linebacker Kawika Mitchell is teaming up with New York Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka in a charity effort to help villages in Kiwanuka's native Uganda. Mitchell will be providing updates on his encounters and experiences during his week in Africa right here on Buffalobills.com. He shares his thoughts on the upcoming trip that begins in Uganda Monday.
Hey Bills fans, I'm really excited to be making this trip with Mathias. We've been talking about the trip to Uganda since our time together as teammates with the New York Giants. He came to my native Hawaii last year and helped me with a football camp, so I'm more than happy to return the favor.
Kiwanuka's family is from Uganda, so this effort is one that is very close to him. A lot of his family members still live there and if I'm not mistaken his grandfather was the first elected president of Uganda.
Before we left we had to get all the necessary vaccines and shots for traveling to Africa. There were five in all. There was one for yellow fever, meningitis, polio, Hepatitis-A, typhoid and we had to take pills for malaria.
We're flying to London, England first and then on to Germany where we'll spend a little time in some surrounding countries there. On Sunday we fly back to London and then connect to Entebbe, Uganda. From there we'll be picked up and drive to the capital, Kampala, where we'll set up for the week.
Our itinerary is still being pieced together, but we will definitely be traveling to several villages surrounding the capital.
The charity is set up mainly to get running water to schools and visit children in the hospitals. Other than that we will be visiting Mathias' family and seeing the country. I'm expecting Kiwanuka to be treated like royalty or some kind of superstar due to his family's ties to the country. Other than that I don't know what else to expect.
I just know we're going to try to help wherever possible and make sure to spread the word about the conditions over there when I return to the U-S.
I'm looking forward to experiencing the people, the culture, the wildlife and the terrain. Pretty much soak it all in. I think this trip will really open my eyes and motivate me to plan future trips to the region.