Sunday sermon then safari!

Sunday morning was spent in another marathon church service- although even with Simon preaching for the longest ever (45 minutes!) it finished unusually early (less than three hours). Clare led KidsZone for the children up to 11. It was just a bit daunting as I was being filmed- apparently to let the other leaders get some ideas!!! Eek!!  We did the story of Noah with pictures and actions and sign language!! We sang ‘In the Jungle’ and Abby and Reuben proudly came to the front and helped them with the actions. I was delighted to see one of my best friends here, Charity who no longer lives nearby, had received by letter saying we were coming and she had made the rip to see us!! Hoorah!

After lunch we were off on safari!! We packed and drove across Uganda to Kibale National Park and to our hotel. On the journey we bought supper –bbq beef on sticks and roasted bananas- delicious. It was so much fun waving at all the children and watching the Africans going about their daily life- as the villages became more rural- they were collecting water or sitting by their stalls by the side of the road with produce ranging from one jack fruit to a huge variety of fruit and veg or bags of charcoal. There were men with bicycles laden with matoki or sacks of goods. There were women with babies strapped to their backs and children walking to and from- well, who knows where!

It took a  long time – 8 hours, but it flew by – the children slept for less than an hour but played beautifully in the back – the Pajero had air con so was comfortable and cool. Herbert and family took their car – two cars is a definite advantage. We had just driven to the other side of Kampala when Herbert announced he had already lost a radiator cap! – Never mind – soon replaced and we were off again. One mystery to us was a strange man in Herbert’s car- we had picked him up in Kampala but were no clearer on who he was until we stopped for supper – 5 hours into the journey….apparently Simon had suggested it was worth taking a simple tool kit…Herbert didn’t have one so asked a mechanic if we could borrow his- he wouldn’t let us but said he would some and get a bus back from Fort Portal (the closest town to our hotel) the following day. This is a bizarre country – where men have so little to do they just hop in a car and get driven across the country in case they are needed only to drive back the following day. Sim only suggested we take an adjustable spanner and a screwdriver!!!

Most people have a mental picture of Africa’s landscape being baron and dusty but boy this isn’t true for Uganda! Apart from the often red dusty road (which in fairness was surpassed most of the way by a great tarmac one), stretching out as far as the eye can see was lush green woods and fields. It is stunning. As we got closer to the West and to the Rwenzori Mountain range the scenery changes again and the most stunning mountainous backdrop appears. We drove past fields of bananas and tea bushes. Darkness falls very quickly here so arriving at the hotel happened several hours after total darkness. Unfortunately the hotel ‘usually’ had power but due to a fault not only was there no electricity but also no generator!! One positive thing about this is that the absolute inky blackness really allows the stars to SHINE!!!

 We made our way (rather nervously in my case – “are you SURE there aren’t any snakes??!!!) Across the field car park and down a flight of concrete steps to our room by the light of a couple of torches! The accommodation was basic but good (as far as we could tell with no lights for three days!) – Our own bathroom (with cold shower as it is heated by electricity!) and a double bed with mossie net and a single one (with the children top to toe) again with mossie net. No power for three days just added to the adventure as we did everything by candlelight – including getting the children up twice over the next two days before sunrise!!  When we arrived a cup of tea and a cold beer helped the journey recovery and as we had arrived in the pitch black we were promised a fabulous view of the mountains and the Crater Lake when we woke up!!

Normally nights are pretty uneventful and not worth a mention in the blog but this night was different! – An earthquake at 5.30!!! We found out later that it had measured 5.2 on the Richter scale- so not huge but significant enough to wake me and have me wake Sim to ask why the windows were shaking!! Wish I hadn’t just watched Dante’s Peak though as I had a few seconds of picturing the hotel sliding into Crater Lake as it bubbled and frothed!!!! Nothing happened though and it is a fairly common occurrence in a rift valley. So we went back to sleep! Apparently the worse earthquake Eve can remember (she grew up in the area) was in 1994 when the earthquake latest for 2 days continuously.

One Response to “Sunday sermon then safari!”

  1. Peter Wainwright says:

    What havn’t the children experienced on this trip!

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