Our Impact team leaders have compiled a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions for our Uganda + Haiti packages. If you have any addition questions and / or concerns, please feel free to email or call us, and we will be happy to assist you in any way. While serving in Haiti, we  support Healing Haiti. *We provide specialized orientations for each team.

Uganda:

 

Q: “Some information about Uganda?”
A:  Uganda is in East Africa and neighbors Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Kampala is the capital city of Uganda and it is on the shores of Lake Victoria. The main airport is Entebbe International Airport (EBB). It is located 25 miles (40km) southwest of Kampala. Local time is GMT +3.  The official language of Uganda is English. Other languages widely spoken are Luganda and Swahili. Over 30 tribes live in Uganda and each has its own language and traditions. 60 % of the population is Christian and the remainder comprises of indigenous religions and Muslim.

 

Q: “How is the climate in Uganda?
A: Uganda has a tropical climate. The temperature in Uganda usually ranges from 21 to 25°C (70 to 77°F). It is cool in some parts of the country due to the country’s high altitude. The hottest months are December to February and the temperature can reach 29°C during that period.
The rainy season starts from March to April and October to November. April is the wettest month. The driest times are June to July.

 

Q: “What vaccinations/immunizations are required?”
A: We suggest you get vaccinated against the following (visit your local health provider/travel clinic for more details):

·  Yellow Fever (vaccination should be taken 10 days before travel)
·  Hepatitis A & B
·  Typhoid
·  Rabies
·  Tuberculosis
·  Malaria

 

Q: “Which city/airport will we arrive at?  What about transportation?”
A: We will fly in to Entebbe International Airport (EBB). It is the main international airport in Uganda and is located near Entebbe town. Kampala, the capital city of Uganda is 35 km (21 miles) from Entebbe where we will stay our first night.  Impact provides transportation during the duration of your 10-day tour.  Our drivers will pick you and your team up at the airport, greet your Impact team, and handle baggage upon arrival.  It is important to be mindful that traffic is often very congested in Uganda, we ask that our team members be prepared upon arrival to practice patience for greater ease of travel.

 

Q: “What about Malaria in Uganda?
A:  Malaria is common in Uganda. You should visit your doctor 4-6 weeks before travelling for any necessary vaccinations and a prescription for an anti-malarial medication. Protect yourself from mosquito and other insect bites by using insect repellent on exposed skin. Long sleeved shirts and trousers should be worn in the evenings and insect repellent can be used in areas with mosquitoes.

 

Q: “What about HIV/Aids in Uganda?”
A:  Uganda used to have one of the highest HIV/Aids infections in Africa. It has had however an effective national response to the HIV/Aids problem. The Ugandan government created and implemented comprehensive policies that dramatically slowed the rate of new infections. However, the HIV/Aids problem seems to be on the upsurge again.

 

Q: “How is Ugandan food?”
A: Ugandan food is varied and healthy. The breakfast usually consist of tea/coffee/cocoa/oats/porridge, bread, fruit, vegetables and eggs. The main dish is Matooke (made from steamed green plantains).

Other dishes include cassava, sweet potatoes, millet bread, rice or yams served with beef or chicken stew or sometimes soup.  Many of the food items are of typical European and American cuisine at the guesthouses and hotels we stay in.  Special arrangements can be made for team members with food allergies and/or dietary restrictions – we ask that you fill out that information on your team application.

 

Q: “Is it safe to drink tap water in Uganda?
A: It is recommended that you drink bottled water during your stay with Impact in Uganda. We provide bottled water during your entire trip.  We ask that team members brush their teeth with bottled water.  You can also buy bottled water from any supermarket and most shops in Uganda. The most common water-borne diseases in Uganda are cholera and typhoid.

 

Q: “Is it safe to volunteer in Uganda? “
A: You will be well looked after during your venture to Uganda with Impact. We ensure you are placed in a safe environment while serving.  Ugandan people are friendly and very hospitable.

However, it is essential to take simple precautions: Do not carry your valuables around. Take a copy of your passport and/or visas to carry with you. Leave your passport, credit cards, debit cards and other valuables such as cameras and laptops at home.   We assign 1 team member to have a camera during our ventures.  We ask that phones be turned off, and stored in safe during our serving.  Blog posts, social media and phone use will be addressed during your team orientation.

 

Q: “What other safety issues should I be aware of?”
A: There is poverty in Uganda and you are likely to be viewed as very wealthy. As in any developing country, pick-pocketing is a problem and you will probably attract souvenir hawkers as well as street children and beggars in smaller towns.

Be sure to take some precautions such as:

·   Leave your passport, credit cards and debit cards in the room
·   Only carry a copy of your passport and little cash
·   Limit the amount of worn jewelry
·   Do not flash money or your wallet
·   Be aware of the exchange rate and cost of items
·   Do not walk on your own at night in the major cities
·   Always avoid alleys/back streets
·   Avoid dangling backpacks and camera bags
·   Avoid using your Ipod/Iphone/etc except in your room, at the restaurants or at the hotel/guesthouse during your break. An Ipod/phone/etc in the streets may attract undue attention.
·   You need to be aware of your surroundings at all times when walking, using public transport etc.
·   Wear a money belt that fits under your clothes or carry money in different pockets and places.

 

Q: “What clothing is appropriate? Any cultural restrictions?
A: Bring along some comfortable, casual and semi-casual clothing: sweat shirts, shorts, jeans, skirts and any other clothing that you would ordinarily wear. Avoid flashy items. Dancers & Teachers - dance attire (yoga/jazz pants + tops with full coverage) – no midriffs exposed, dance shoes (most Afro dancing will be done barefoot, but please pack your dance shoes)* When out in the community, it is good to follow local etiquette. Female Impact team members need to wear pants, capris, longer shorts, and/or long skirts. Please ask when you are not sure what is and is not appropriate.  We will address this during your team orientation too. Footwear can be hiking boots, previously worn tennis shoes and/or open-toed sandals.  

 

Q: What do I need to pack for my Impact tour? 
A: Click here for a full packing list for your trip

 

Q: “What about the electricity supply for laptops, hairdryers etc?
A: The electricity supply in Uganda is 240 volts AC /50Hz. Plug type G – the rectangular blade plug. Plug shapes, plug sizes and sockets are different in many countries and it is good to check before travelling. Most laptop battery chargers and AC adapters are dual voltage, so they can be used with only a plug adapter for the country you will be visiting. Please plan and pack accordingly.

 

Q: “Do I need visa and/or a passport to enter Uganda?  What other documents are required?”
A: Impact team members from the US need a passport for travel to, and entry into Uganda. Each team member is charged a single-entry Uganda visa costs USD$50 upon entry into the country and a multiple entry visa is USD$100. Tourist visas can be extended for longer-term per our long-term Impact missionaries who are interested in serving longer than the 10-day tours.

Required documents -

·  Passport + 2 colored copies of passport
·  IVC Volunteer Card
·  Other form of ID (driver’s license)
·  Boarding passes and flight itineraries
·  Impact Team Card

 

Q: “What is the Uganda currency?
A: The currency in Uganda is in Uganda Shillings denoted by UGX. The shilling comprises 100 cents. Coins are in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 300 and 500 shillings. Bank notes are in denominations of 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 shillings.
Importation of foreign currency is unlimited and does not have to be declared on arrival. The import and export of local currency is prohibited.

The value of the shilling fluctuates. Check the value of the shilling with a currency converter just before you go. Do not change too much money at one time and use the banks not the money changers.  We will have access to stop at a bank during Day 2 of our trip.         Currency converter

 

Q: “Are credit cards accepted in Uganda?”
A: Major credit cards such as MasterCard and Visa are accepted, but not every retailer accepts credit cards. American Express, Discover, Solo, Switch and Diners Club are often not accepted. ATMs will mostly accept MasterCard, Visa and Visa Electron cards. Major credit cards are accepted at supermarkets and expensive restaurants and hotels. However, it is advisable to carry some cash as not all locations accept credit cards. Traveler’s cheques are not widely accepted outside Kampala. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take traveler’s cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling. The Banking hours are Monday - Friday 830am - 2pm & Saturdays 9am - 12pm. Forex bureaux are open until 1700 and able to do electronic transfers to and from overseas.

 

Q:  “What is a typical day like in Uganda for Ugandans?”
A:  With Uganda so close to the equator, the sun schedule is 6AM to 6PM.  Work starts around 9AM/10AM for most Ugandans, and goes until 5PM depending on the industry.  Time is much slower paced in Uganda than in the US and/or Europe.  For westerners, it is encouraged to travel with a flexible “time” mindset to make the most out of your venture with Impact. While our drivers are on “American Time,” we are still traveling in a country with a different time schedule. Breakfast is generally at 7AM/8AM, and is usually larger than the typical American breakfast, Lunch is generally light snacks, and dinner is the largest meal, typically later in the evening around 9PM/10PM.  Conversation, greetings, and manners are very important.  

 

Q:   “What does a typical day look like for Impact team members?”
A:   While each day is compiled with different activities, the structure of our days spent together is generally the same. Wake up at 7AM, get ready for daily activities, team prayer and breakfast at 8AM.  Serving, dancing or on safari from 9AM to 12PM, drive or walk back to hotel, lunch served between 1PM and 1:30PM, followed by afternoon break/rest, evening team activity and daily devotionals, Dinner served between 6PM and 6:30PM (see sample itinerary HERE or your specific trip itinerary for more information).

 

Q:  “What amenities do the hotels/guesthouses offer?”
A:  Throughout Impact’s 10-day “The Pearl of Africa Tour” our teams stay in 3 different hotels/guesthouses together throughout the venture.  Please visit each hotel site for more specific details.  Speke Resort in Munyonyo : http://www.spekeresort.com/, Hotel Kenrock in Kampala:  http://www.hotelkenrock.com/, Parra Lodge in Murschison Falls: http://www.paraalodge.com/


Haiti:

 

Q: “Some information about Haiti?”
A:  Haiti is a Caribbean nation located in the western third of the of the island of Hispaniola; it is bordered on the east by the Dominican Republic. Haiti has the second largest population of the Caribbean nations and its poverty is so extreme that it is ranked lowest on the Human Development Index in the Americas. The capital of Haiti is Port-au-Prince which is located in the Gulf of Gonâve. The official languages are French and Haitian Creole. The main airport is Toussaint Louverture International Airport located in Tabarre near Port-au-Prince. The religion is primarily Christian, with some Haitians combining elements of voodoo to their religious practices.

 

Q: “How is the climate in Haiti?
A: Haiti is a very mountainous country. The rainfall patterns are varied leaving some parts of the land tropical and others semiarid. The temperatures usually range from 23-35°C (73-95°F) with the hottest month being July. 

The rainy seasons are April-June and October-November. Because it is Caribbean island, Haiti experiences both hurricanes and earthquakes.

 

Q: “What vaccinations/immunizations are required?”
A: We suggest you get vaccinated against the following (visit your local health provider/travel clinic for more details): 

·  Hepatitis A & B
·  Typhoid
·  Tuberculosis
·  Malaria

 

Q: “Which city/airport will we arrive at?  What about transportation?”
A: We will fly in to Toussaint Louverture International Airport. It is the main international airport in Haiti and is located in Tabarre near Port-au-Prince. Healing Haiti provides transportation during the duration of our weeklong short-term mission.  Their drivers will pick you and your team up at the airport, greet your HH/Impact team, and handle baggage upon arrival.  It is important to be mindful that traffic is often very congested in Haiti, we ask that our team members be prepared upon arrival to practice patience for greater ease of travel.

 

Q: “What about Malaria in Haiti?
A:  Malaria is common in Haiti. You should visit your doctor 4-6 weeks before traveling for any necessary vaccinations and a prescription for an anti-malarial medication. 

Protect yourself from mosquito and other insect bites by using insect repellent on exposed skin. Long sleeved shirts and trousers should be worn in the evenings and insect repellent can be used in areas with mosquitoes. 

 

Q: “What about HIV/Aids in Haiti?”
A:  Haiti has the highest HIV/Aids infections in the Caribbean. However, the Haitian government has done remarkable work in combating HIV/AIDS and the rates are continuing to drop. 

 

Q: “How is Haitian food?”
A: Haitian food is based on the French and Creole cooking styles. The breakfast usually consist of oats/porridge, bread, fruit, vegetables, eggs, french toast, and pancakes. Some dishes native to Haiti are djon-djon (rice made with Haitian black mushrooms) and Soup jomou (pumpkin soup traditionally served on Sundays). Other dishes include beans, sweet potatoes, millet bread, rice or yams and occasionally beef or chicken stew or sometimes soup.  Many of the food items are of typical European and American cuisine at the guesthouses and hotels we stay in.  Special arrangements can be made for team members with food allergies and/or dietary restrictions – we ask that you fill out that information on your team application.

 

Q: “Is it safe to drink tap water in Haiti? “
A: It is recommended that you drink bottled water during your stay with HH/Impact in Haiti. Bottled water is provided during your entire trip.  We ask that team members brush their teeth with bottled water.  You can also buy bottled water from any supermarket and most shops in Haiti. The most common water-borne diseases in Haiti are cholera and typhoid.

 

Q: “Is it safe to volunteer in Haiti?“
A: You will be well looked after during your venture to Haiti with Healing Haiti/Impact. We ensure you are placed in a safe environment while serving.  Haitian people are friendly and very hospitable. 

However, it is essential to take simple precautions. 
·  Do not carry your valuables around. 
·  Take a copy of your passport and/or visas to carry with you. 
·  Leave your passport, credit cards, debit cards and other valuables such as cameras and laptops at home.   We assign 1 team member to have a camera during the trip.  We ask that phones be turned off, and stored in safe during our serving.  Blog posts, social media and phone use will be addressed during your team orientation.

 

Q: “What other safety issues should I be aware of?”
A: There is poverty in Haiti and you are likely to be viewed as very wealthy. As in any developing country, pick-pocketing is a problem and you will probably attract souvenir hawkers as well as street children and beggars in smaller towns. 

Be sure to take some precautions such as:

·   Leave your passport, credit cards and debit cards in the room
·   Only carry a copy of your passport and little cash
·   Limit the amount of worn jewelry
·   Do not flash money or your wallet
·   Be aware of the exchange rate and cost of items
·   Do not walk on your own at night in the major cities
·   Always avoid alleys/back streets
·   Avoid dangling backpacks and camera bags
·   Avoid using your Ipod/Iphone/etc except in your room, at the restaurants or at the hotel/guesthouse during your break. An Ipod/phone/etc in the streets may attract undue attention.
·   You need to be aware of your surroundings at all times when walking, using public transport etc.
·   Wear a money belt that fits under your clothes or carry money in different pockets and places.

 

Q: “What clothing is appropriate? Any cultural restrictions?
A: Bring along some comfortable, casual and semi-casual clothing: loose fitting shirts, shorts, jeans, skirts and any other clothing that you would ordinarily wear. Avoid flashy items. Dancers & Teachers - dance attire (yoga/jazz pants + tops with full coverage) – no midriffs exposed, dance shoes (most Afro dancing will be done barefoot, but please pack your dance shoes)* When out in the community, it is good to follow local etiquette. Female Impact team members need to wear pants, capris, longer shorts, and/or long skirts. Please ask when you are not sure what is and is not appropriate.  We will address this during your team orientation too. Footwear can be hiking boots, previously worn tennis shoes and/or open-toed sandals. 

 

Q: “What about the electricity supply for laptops, hairdryers etc?
A: The electricity supply in Haiti is 110 volts AC /60Hz. Plug type A/B – the same as the USA.

 

Q: “Do I need visa and/or a passport to enter Haiti?  What other documents are required?”
A: Impact team members from the US need a passport for travel to, and entry into Haiti. USA citizens are not required to have a Visa to Haiti if staying less than 90 days.

Required documents - 

·  Passport + 2 colored copies of passport
·  IVC Volunteer Card
·  Other form of ID (driver’s license)
·  Boarding passes and flight itineraries
·  Impact Team Card

 

Q: “What is the Haiti currency? “
A: The currency in Haiti is the Haitian Gourde denoted by HTG. The gourde comprises 100 centimes. Coins are in denominations of 50 centimes, 1 gourde, and 5 gourdes. Bank notes are in denominations of 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 250 and 500 and 1,000 gourdes. 

Importation of foreign currency valued at 400,000 HTG must be declared to the Haitian government.

The value of the gourde fluctuates. Check the value of the gourde with a currency converter just before you go. Do not change too much money at one time and use the banks not the money changers.  We will have access to stop at a bank during Day 2 of our trip.

 

Q: “Are credit cards accepted in Haiti?”
A: Major credit cards such as MasterCard and Visa are accepted, but not every retailer accepts credit cards. American Express, Discover, Solo, Switch and Diners Club are often not accepted. ATMs will mostly accept MasterCard, Visa and Visa Electron cards. Major credit cards are accepted at supermarkets and expensive restaurants and hotels. However, it is advisable to carry some cash as not all locations accept credit cards. 

 

Q:  “What is a typical day like in Haiti for Haitians?”
A:  With Haiti fairly close to the equator, the sun schedule is about 6AM to 6PM. The majority of Haitians work in agriculture and forestry, but the unemployment rate is very high. The Haitians have a rich heritage in music and crafts. Time is much slower paced in Haiti than in the US and/or Europe.  For westerners, it is encouraged to travel with a flexible “time” mindset to make the most out of your venture with Impact. While our drivers are on “American Time,” we are still traveling in a country with a different time schedule.  Conversation, greetings, and manners are very important.  

 

Q:   “What does a typical day look like for Healing Haiti/Impact team members?”
A:   While each day is compiled with different activities, the structure of our days spent together is generally the same. Wake up at 7AM, get ready for daily activities, team prayer and breakfast at 8AM.  Serving, dancing or touring from 9AM to 12PM, drive or walk back to hotel, lunch served between 1PM and 1:30PM, followed by afternoon service work in mission field, evening team activity and daily devotionals post-dinner, Dinner served between 6PM and 6:30PM (see sample itinerary HERE or your specific trip itinerary for more information).

 

Q:  “What amenities do the guesthouses offer?”
A: On our trips, we stay in well-equipped Healing Haiti-owned guesthouses. Unlike most of the city, the guesthouse has power 90% of the time. There are several bunk rooms to stay in, bathrooms, kitchen and lounge areas.  There is plenty of space to relax outside, and grounds are beautiful.