Friends, I am so excited to tell you about our epic safari adventures.
I must put it a little bit of a disclaimer out there and say that this is a crazy time of year for me… hence the recent lack of posts (as I set up my classroom and prepare for a new year of kindergarten… and then get started with a new year of kindergarten – which is always a tough few weeks full of tears – mine and theirs). So I can’t promise a post a day or really any sort of schedule. I am a P in the world of Myers Briggs – a posting schedule would stress me out when my life is already busy :)
But bear with me and eventually you will feel like you were on safari with me. I promise not to drag this out until Christmas, but I make no promises when it will actually wrap up ;)
As Julie Andrews so wisely sings, “Let start at the very beginning… a very good place to start.”
As previously mentioned, my sister flew out to Uganda toward the end of my mission trip to go on a safari with me! And the day to head out on Safari finally arrived.
I knew that the three national parks we would be going to (Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and Lake Mburo National Park) were all in western Uganda, but I didn’t think through the fact that to get to each park we would have a full day of road tripping through Uganda.
Fortunately, Rachel and I grew up going on family vacations that involved intense road tripping across the United States to various national parks. So basically it was like we were on family vacation. Without the rest of the family. And without Adventures in Odyssey on cassette tape. And with slightly different scenery.
We got up early on Day 1 ate breakfast at the orphanage and sipped some African tea until Joseph (our guide) and Obed (our driver) arrived. Fortunately the kids were up and had started getting ready for church, so I was able to say goodbye to them before we headed out. (Although they were a bit confused because when I tucked them into bed the night before, I said that I was going on safari with Uncle Joseph in the morning and would be gone for a few days. So they didn’t really understand what I was still doing there. However, This is Africa, and sometimes you leave an hour late, and that is just how things roll). We eventually climbed into the van and the kids stood out on the front porch and we waved and blew kisses until I was through the gate and off on our adventure.
Roadtrips in Africa involve snacks that Rachel packed from America, lots of bottled water, and having cameras on standby at all times. You never know when something interesting might pass your window. Mostly we hated the speed bumps that were virtually constant on the main road we took. We should have counted our blessings that there was a paved road to drive out to Western Uganda, but mostly we felt sad about all the speed bumps – they were big and there were always five or six in a row. My brain got tired of being jarred around pretty quickly. However, the one positive spin I could put on them, is that it forced us to slow down when entering towns which gave me more photo taking opportunity. Eventually though, most towns looked the same when you were just passing through on the highway, so I could only play the camera game for so long (but I did last for most of day 1). We also did some reading, and on the way home we even played boggle on the iPad.
We saw lots of people carrying water, bicycles loaded down with bananas, boda boda drivers hanging out, cows, cows, and more cows, tea plantations, goats, women in beautifully colored dresses, and Joseph’s jjaja. Yep – we stopped off to meet Joseph’s Grandma. Joseph is one of the directors of the orphanage and both of his brothers are on staff, so it was pretty cool to meet the women who raised them.
We will end there for today, but I will share some pictures from the car ride with you.
Next post will start including some animals in it. Animals other than goats and cows. I promise. And if you are lucky, perhaps you will even get to see some of my sister’s nature documentaries. She is really good at whispering while filming animals. Get excited.