Uganda: Safari!

So it has been a while, but there she is again! So many things that happened, so many stories to tell. I promise, I will try to only tell the  most interesting things and to keep it short. Try…

So even after three weeks everyone in Uganda still called us “Mzungu” (white person). Wherever you walked there were kids amazed and waving at you, “Hi Mzungu! Hi Mzungu!”. Kind of a strange experience, they mean well, but it feels weird they give so much attention to you…

Thus, where were we? The first weekend we all went to Kalangala, a town on the Ssese Islands in lake Victoria. We booked a lodge there and W-O-W it was beautiful. I watched sunset over the lake from the pool, looked at the stars and chilled at a campfire on the beach, and slept in a bed that actually accepted my size (I’m tall…).

Photo credit Josephine

One of the days we were there we decided to go quad driving. It was a bit of a shame we had to wait for at least an hour before all the protective gear was gathered and the quads were prepared, and that from the two hours we were promised we only drove for one cause there was constantly something wrong. BUT, nevertheless, it was still amazing. Quite tricky to drive up and down mountains on roads that you cannot call roads, but that is what made it cool. My trousers were the only ones that didn’t really enjoy it, I had a huge tear over my ass when I returned…

In the week to follow we worked hard on our projects. In our case that meant we did interviews with locals, which is of course always interesting. Some people spoke English really well and had great ideas to improve the situation, while for some we had to formulate the questions in five different ways for them to understand us. My team members therefore also went into town with a translator, which brought them home with some interesting stories (Josi almost got married of in exchange for some goats, which turned out later, interestingly, was not the only time such a proposal would happen). Here’s some pictures of Bukomansimbi.

Then the next weekend I went on safari in Queen Elizabeth national park with part of the group! A-MA-MAZING! I have seen so many cool animals! Elephants, crocodiles, hippos, zebras, impalas, lions, buffalos, many different kinds of birds, lizards, other deer-like animals, warthogs and many many butterflies. We basically drove through a constant swarm of butterflies, for kilometers long! Chris, the project manager at the school where we had our project, went with us, and he managed to arrange this amazing bus. Almost cinema-like chairs, LEGSPACE (again, I’m tall), plug in for iPods so our own music and a roof that could open that we could hang out while driving and take better pictures of the animals.

It was a shame that that same bus decided to be less amazing by the end of the weekend. “Ehh…. Guys, is the bus supposed to drive 10 km/hr at full power..?”. Nope. Clearly not. Chris parked the bus on the side of the road (quite dangerous, cars drive really fast and we were in de middle of a turn), and it just started smoking, inside and out! We were laughing first, but obviously we had to get out quickly (jungle rain, again… soaking wet within seconds). We went to some huts that were alongside the road for some shelter. In no time we had about 20 kids gathered around us, always amazed about the “Mzungu”. The kids played with me for two hours (they L-O-V-E-D my sunglasses, I didn’t get them back 🙂 ), then we got towed to the next town. First try: ropes broke. When we finally were in the next town the truck stopped and told us they could not get the bus up the hill to the police station, and that we had to push. And so we pushed… Everybody voluntarily and happily joined in, but when we were upstairs (only 5 meters or so) they all wanted money for helping (they almost turned agressive about it..), so that was a lesson learned I guess.

Luckily it all ended well (except for our bank accounts, but hey, worth it?) and we were home again by the end of the night. And then it was already the last week of the project! A lot of writing, for some a lot of stress as well, but on one of the last days we hired a boda boda (motor) for ourselves, AWESOME! Instead of sitting on the back as always, we rented just the motorcycle, to drive around with ourselves! I expected drama and failure, as I have no driver’s license whatsoever and always need to tell myself what again is the clutch and what is the break. Despite all that, I drove wonderfully! Admitted, I didn’t pass the first gear, but where the road is no longer than 30m before you have to turn again, that is not even really necessary. Just a fun activity not to miss out on if you are ever there!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Coby says:

    Ik hoop dat je snel opknapt. Heb genoten van verhaal en prachtige foto’s!
    Groet vanuit een k-o-u-d …leuk om zo de nadruk te leggen op een woord :-)… Nederland.

    Like

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