Saturday, March 22, 2014

Oh, The Shame

The title of this post reflects how I feel about how long it’s been since my last entry. The longer I live here, the less I feel it necessary to chronicle my life; in the way that it would never occur to me to write a blog post about my day to day back in Canada. That being said, I shall now try and sum up the last couple months of my life without boring anyone too much.

I have been learning a lot lately about what it means to let things go. I don’t have a problem with change, where I struggle is when I have an idea (or an ideal) in my head that doesn’t pan out the way I anticipated…”But, but, that’s not how it was supposed to be!!!!” Example A: We (myself and 3 other friends; two of which I am currently snuggled into a 2 bedroom place with) have been waiting for an apartment complex to be completed with the intention of moving in. We were told it would be done in October, the November, then December…you get the idea. My roommate and I have paint colors picked, cushion colors picked, the whole place planned out (I even purchased curtains and decorative pillows while at home) with the intention of moving in when I returned from Canada. That did not happen…I have had to let go. Side note: We should find out today whether we can move in soon or if he is completely screwing us over and giving it to someone else.

That is just one example, but the point is, I am learning…

Besides that distraction, the last couple months have been pretty great…a definite highlight being the arrival of my dear sister, Dana. She came and spent 2 weeks with me splitting time between seeing the sights and just being a fly on the wall, experiencing what an ordinary day is for me…and believe me, there are some pretty intense things we have to deal with but for the most part, my days are pretty ordinary. She was able to meet the kids, sit in on a meeting or two, get to know my friends and see the best of what Jinja has to offer. And then, of course, we just had to go on safari. J

The last time I went, it was to Murchison but this time, we went to Queen Elizabeth. We did a three day safari that included a day of driving, then safari day (a drive and a boat cruise) and then a day of travelling back. One of the great parts of this safari was that there were five of us (Dana and I, and three other friends) and we had the van to ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting people while I travel, but this was kind of a treat.

The morning of our safari drive, we headed out with our guide, Assuman (whom we nicknamed Awesome Man), to try and track down the big 5. The day started out rather disappointing and to be honest, I was getting a little worried; especially as I was the one who planned the trip and felt a responsibility towards everyone, as though I had the slightest control over what animals we see. We really hadn’t seen much of all when we pulled into a rest area on the outskirts of a crater of some sorts. Assuman stepped out of the vehicle but before we could even get our things together he hopped back in and rattled off something excitably about there being “something there” and left the crater in a cloud of dust. We flew across the rutted, dirt pathways slowing down just to pass other safari vehicles whose drivers waved us on although time was running out. We arrived at the spot full of excited energy and pulled in beside a bunch of other vehicles. Our excitement quickly dwindled as we realized the lions were a fair bit away and we could just make out the top ridges of their bodies in the grass. Although disappointed, I would have gone home somewhat satisfied with the sighting but our guide had other things in mind. After a while, we looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and went to find Assuman, who was busy chatting with the other guides. To our surprise, despite regulations and the risk of a fine, he insinuated that we should wait a bit till people leave and go in a bit closer. So, we waited for a bit until he came rushing over, his intentions unmistakable. We all piled in and could hardly contain our excitement as we headed into the bush. Then we saw them…first a couple females and then a male and a female who laid there nonchalantly while we parked hardly 10 feet away and just stared. Not more than a minute went by before we had to continue on but I honestly will not forget that experience for as long as I live. We were all pumped full of adrenaline after that and could not stop talking about it for the rest of the day. Even though we saw multiple hippos, buffalo and even elephants on the boat cruise, it was still the highlight. The only thing that came close was when, on the way back from the boat cruise, we had to stop and let a whole herd of elephants cross the road in front of us.

All in all, the trip couldn’t have been more of a success and it was made even more special by having my sister right there alongside me.

There are probably more things I could share but I filled nearly two pages and it is time to end.

Watch the safari slideshow here.