Countdown to the Safari

Murchison Falls, taken from one of the tour brochures.

After a busy end to October, with our only day off last week spent in a nearby hotel, Vanessa and I are very much looking forward to our three day safari trip.  We’ll take a boda to the Luweero post office tomorrow morning, where a bus will pick us up en route to Masindi.  Given the rarity of seeing Mzungus (or other foreigners) around the village, it’ll be interesting getting to know the other people on our tour.  The company we’re going with take a maximum of only eight people, which is nice since it will eliminate the need to travel around in a giant bus or the like.  According to the itinerary they sent us, Saturday morning (at 6:45am!!) we’ll head out from our camp on a four hour game drive around the Nile Delta area of Murchison Falls National Park.  After a quick lunch we’ll be off again, this time on a three hour boat cruise along the Victoria Nile to the base of the Falls.  And as if all the wildlife viewing wasn’t exciting enough, Sunday morning we’ll be going on a guided walk to the top of the Falls.  This will be the first time I’ve travelled anywhere to the north of us, and from the photos other volunteers have taken, it certainly looks like there’ll be some stunning scenery.

Moses (front) and his advisor, Tom, in their workshop, working to get the right colour mix for the Shanti logo.

The last few days have been really enjoyable.  Up to this point, the majority of my conversations with people here have been regarding specific work we were doing for Shanti, or small talk about how I was liking Uganda.  However, this week I’ve had some great discussions that covered other topics.  Yesterday I went with Moses, the person who is painting the signs for Shanti, to figure out how to make the colours needed for the logo.  Since we had a long walk to his workshop, there was plenty of time to learn more about his art, the courses he’s taking at a nearby college, and for him to ask lots of questions about life in Canada.  Then today I was talking with the lab technician at the Centre about my education and what kind of work I hope to do when I return to Canada.  I also had a fun discussion with Yosam, one of the boda drivers, about what it was like learning to drive a motorcycle, since I’m considering buying one.  It’s nice that I’m here long enough to really get to know everyone – they’re all such kind and interesting people, and it’s been a privilege working and spending time with them.