This has truly been a crazy adventure. It’s hard to believe that we arrived in this country two whole weeks ago because the time has really flown by.
The past few days have had a drastically different feel than our first week here. Rather than traveling through the slums and seeing the horrible conditions in which people live, we got to experience a lot of the tourist attractions Uganda has to offer. Although it was a great time, it was also sad to think that none of the people we interviewed the first week could ever afford to do these things.
Anyways, here’s a re-cap of what we’ve done.
Sunday: Left Lira and drove to Murchison Falls. We drove through a game park on the way and got to see giraffes and elephants which was really cool. Then, to get to our hotel, we took a ferry across the Nile which sort of reminded me of playing Oregon Trail as a kid. When we got to the hotel we learned we only had electricity from 5-7am and 7-10pm. Also, it was very important for us to be in our rooms by 10 every night because water buffalos roam the hotel compound at night and are super dangerous. Scary.
Monday: We took a three hour cruise on the Nile and saw hundreds of hippos, about 30 elephants, got lunged at by a huge crocodile, and got to see Murchison Falls. Also I got a pretty awful sunburn so I’ll be sporting a nice tan when I get back home (:
Tuesday: This day was interesting, to say the least. We woke up at 5am for our safari and Bridget, Michelle, MB, and I had to BOOK it out of our rooms because a bat was circling our cabin…great start to our day for sure. Then our three hour safari turned to four hours when our bus got stuck in the sand about 30 minutes away from the finish and we had to turn around and drive the entire way back from where we had just come. On the bright side, though, we did see a ton of giraffes, bush bucks, elephants, a monkey, and four lions. Fred (our driver) went off-roading so we could get a closer look at the lions, which would have been EXTREMELY illegal in America since we were in a national park. After the safari our ferry almost crossed the Nile without Fred and our bus on it (but luckily got them eventually). AND we ran into a van which had flipped on our way back to the hotel and Matt had to whip out his doctor skills and patch a man up.
After all of this craziness we packed up at the hotel and started our 6ish hour drive back to Kampala. It was Marybeth and my turn to sit way up front with Fred (: Driving fast on dirt roads, two feet away from a huge windshield, and with no seatbelt to put on freaked me out. At one point our bus was attacked by flies and everyone was swatting them so we wouldn’t get bitten, including Fred, which caused him to swerve off the roads a few times. Luckily I had his back and was doing work on the flies in the front so he could concentrate. Tuesday was definitely a strange, strange day.
Today we took a day trip to Jinji to see the source of the Nile and tomorrow we’ll be spending the day shopping in the market before our plane leaves tomorrow night!
Leaving here is a bittersweet feeling. Of course I’m excited to get back to America and the extremely privileged life I live compared to the lives of people here, but a part of me wishes I could stay just a little longer. It will be impossible to forget this place. What I saw, what I learned, and the people I met will stick with me forever. I really wish that everyone could have this experience and see what the developing world is like because it has been life changing.