Monday – Monkey’s and many meals

We woke the children and were at breakfast at 7.30. We headed out to Kibale National Park and up to the rangers lodge. Here we all got out of the cars and dressed in our long sleeves and trousers and tucking our trouser legs into our socks, (I had to ignore all my nerves and just go for it!) we followed our guide into the jungle!!

We had a fabulous two hour trek in the jungle – the guide was great and speaking at the children’s level and pointed out plants and butterflies and trees and the smell and sound of the monkeys! We heard the wild chimps but they were a kilometre or so away. The walk was really interesting and the children stayed focused and asked intelligent questions! The most exciting part was tracking the monkeys in the trees and spotting them as they leapt from branch to branch. The paths were well marked and clear and it is a popular track so no snakes etc – just a walk in beautiful African forest and a really knowledgeable guide. All the way there the boys sang ‘Hakuna Matata’ very loudly and all the way back we sang the chorus to ‘In the Jungle’- (the one who made me and all I see WAS walking in the jungle with me, in the jungle ooh ooh, was walking in the jungle with me”!!!!!!- VERY COOL!!

On route into town we stopped off at the school run by Eve’s sister Elizabeth. It was HUGE! Year one had over 200 pupils in one class. They were outside under a tree when I arrived and sang me a song in greeting, it was incredible. I marvelled at the numbers and how ON EARTH the one teacher managed them – the answer is that they have no choice – if they didn’t take the children they would be just out in the villages. Something was better than nothing. The primary school had over 1,000 pupils and seemed really ordered and calm. There were classes under trees and other in basic rooms. It was quite a revelation to me.

In the afternoon we went to a hotel in the town for lunch- it was in typical ‘African experience’- we asked to see the menu- they looked blank and asked what we wanted, we asked what they had, they asked what we would like, etc Eventually got the choices of steak, chicken or fish and chips. Simon asked how much they were and he got a shrug, then he asked if they were all the same price and the chef said – they would work it out so that they were. He took the order and Simon asked if they had all that – yes…..well an hour later when the food still hadn’t arrived and we were the only customers it became clear that they didn’t in fact have any of it and have had to defrost it all from the freezer. The hotel was beautiful with fabulous gardens and the children had a lovely hour playing. The only problem and we tried to see this as part of the adventure, (!), Simon had noticed that the insurance certificate on our car had run out. EEK. We only had duplicate documents and the others were 8 hours away in Kampala. NIGHTMARE. Simon was very clear he was not going to be driving around uninsured in Ugand! We may have to get someone to get the insurance back in Kampala and then get a bus to bring it all the way over. Time was ticking as we waited for lunch!

Lots of prayers were answered when the insurance company accepted the duplicate documents and we were back on the road again!!! We drove out to some caves and a waterfall. The sign as we went in asked us not to break off the ‘stalacites’ and ‘stalagites’!!!! The guide walked with us telling us the folk tale about the caves (a bizarre and gory story involving kings and daughters! We climbed through the woods and reached the caves (well, an overhang!) and a really gorgeous waterfall. Well worth the walk and listening to the strange story!!!

On the way back to the hotel for supper we stopped at Eve’s mum’s house – where she had grown up. Unfortunately her mum doesn’t speak English but a smile and a greeting seems to work in any language and we had a soda together and hugged a lot! I found out later that she had a goat for us as a gift but Eve had explained that we couldn’t take it on the plane! We went on to Elizabeth’s home and arrived with the plan to just stay for 10 minutes and NOT eat as we were heading back to the hotel for supper. Elizabeth had agreed to all that so we were filled with dread as not just sodas and nibbles came out but sausages, roasted meat, vegetables etc – served with ‘it’s not food it is just a snack”.Eek!

Supper at the hotel was outside and not so well received by the 8 of us who were feeling rather full!! There was roast beef and roasted pork and roast potatoes as well and veg and millet bread and sweet potatoes etc. After the food they lit a fire and Herbert announced it was traditional to sit and tell stories around the fire. We spent a lovely time with each of the 8 of us telling a relevant story about animals we had seen in the jungle etc. It was great!

One Response to “Monday – Monkey’s and many meals”

  1. Peter Wainwright says:

    Prayer clearly works!

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