(To skip the writing and go straight to the pics: CLICK HERE FOR AFRICA SLIDESHOW)
Wow... almost two months since my last post. I am pretty horrible at this blog thing. Sorry about the blog delay but I think you are gonna like this one...
Christy and I had a pretty amazing time in Africa. We spent most of our time visiting and traveling with Christy's bro Dave (African name: Daudi Kimuli... pronounced Dow-Dee Chee-Moo-lee), and the rest of the time venturing out to Masai Mara, Northern Serengheti, in Kenya. I am so amazed by what I have experienced in Africa. Everything is so incredibly different... the people, the transportation, the food, culture, landscape, wildlife, daily routines, time, showering,... everything.
I really think we traveled in a way that allowed us to do as the African's do. "When in Rome"... right!... Well, while we were in Africa... we did as the Africans did. We ate "matoke" with our hands, we pooped in pits, stuffed 24 people into a 14 person "matatu" (taxi-bus), traveled by Boda-Boda (motorcycle), and best of all, spoke a little Lugandan and Swahili. Without Dave, I don't think we could have done this. He quickly showed us African culture, mannerisms, and many, many words of conversational Lugandan. With his daily lessons we were able to constantly greet, converse, and properly thank all of the people that we came into contact with. I quickly realized that speaking a native tribal language completely separated us from other "Mzungu"(white person). Whenever we tried speaking Luganda with a local, they were so blown away that they had to keep us in a conversation. Our Luganda quickly ran out, but that didn't matter- they were just happy that we took the time to try.
After a few days in Lukaya, we decided to bargain with the local "boda-boys" (motorcyle taxi drivers) to see if we could borrow two of their motorcyles for a week. We think they make around $5 a day driving around locals by Motorcylce, so for $10 a day for 7 days they were doing pretty well with our deal... Minus the risk of us crazy mzungu's wiping out or never bringing back their Boda Bodas. So without signing a single piece of paper, showing any license, or giving any credit card we took off on their bikes for an epic week of traveling Africa by Motorcycle. My guess is that we did about 300 - 400 miles on these bikes but there is really no way to tell, because we rode on unmapped dirt roads that would have challenged even the dirt bike I used to own. We arrived at national parks on the bikes at dusk (when hunting animals are their most active). We were charged by elephants, and almost blown off the dirt roads by trucks screaming by at insane speeds.
At the national parks we mostly camped out in our tent. It was like the guards of a zoo allowed us into the wildest cages of the biggest beasts and set up a tent... only we weren't at the zoo and the animals were all in the same cage... our camp site! Just to give an idea of the proximity of these animals... IN our tent, we had an elephant tusk. Reaching distance, we had baboons and other monkees. Within sight, we had warthogs. Within ear-shot, we had hippos. We even heard that their was a lion walking around our camp sight before we woke up. Our camp sight was only about ten tents big!
Well that is about all I have in me for writing... I put all of my story-telling effort into the pictures. Everyone always asks "how many did you take?"... I took about 2800 this trip and narrowed a slide show down to 200. My hope is to show you a little bit of African life, happy faces, wildlife, landscape, and our interaction. A majority of the wildlife pictures are taken in 1. Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda 2. Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda and 3. Masai Mara, Kenya. A majority of the people pictures are taken in Dave's town (Lukaya, Masaka) and at his children's center (Hope Destitute Children's Center). I'm sorry that the pictures are not in order... I'll get to that some day soon.
If you ever get a chance to travel to Africa... Go! The people are amazing!... It will change your life.
Enjoy the pictures!