What’s a teacher supposed to do when class is over, final exams have been marked, and final grades have been sent in? Vacation! So I’m off to Uganda with my friend Sureel by way of Tanzania and Rwanda starting on August 1st. I have about three weeks before I have to start teaching again, so if I fanya haraka (do it fast) I can be back in ten or twelve days. Half of the adventure is the journey, I know, but I do have a few specific stops in mind:
- Mwanza province in Tanzania to eat some fish and see Lake Victoria which, in addition to being the source of the Nile, is 26,000 square miles. Wow!
- The genocide museum in Rwanda.
- Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda (where the infamous Idi Amin had a house).
So don’t freak out if you call me in the next two weeks and my phone is “disconnected,” I’ll be back soon! Adios, amigos!
I visited Sureel in Kitui a few weeks ago but never got around to posting the pictures… I took a co-worker, Elizabeth, with me because she comes from there and promised to show me around. We spent the weekend hanging out, cooking Indian food, and visiting this big rock called Nzambani rock. The tribe in Kitui is the same tribe in Tala, the Kamba people, so it’s part of the Kamba “country,” or “Ukambani.” Kitui’s a pretty modern town, though, with several banks, hoppin’ clubs, and lots of super markets. It’s much, much bigger than Tala, but also much “deeper” into the country (about three hours from Tala).
Well, almost. This past weekend Una and I visited a few volunteer friends who live near the slopes of Mt. Kenya, the second-tallest mountain in Africa. I visited Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa, last month, but I had to stand outside the park gate because the entrance fee was too ridiculous (I’m not a tourist, guys!). I was glad Mt. Kenya’s entrance fee was only about eight bucks, because guess what? I never realized there were glaciers in Africa until recently, but we hiked up part of the mountain and there is definitely a glacier on top! I guess most of us Westerners think Africa only has hungry people and deserts (note: I did not say “desserts”)… WRONG! There are deserts, hungry people, glaciers, AND desserts!
All joking aside, the mountain is huge, steep, and cold. I even heard that the Mau Mau rebels used to hide in some caves in the dense forest surrounding the mountain when they were fighting the British for independence. Our friend Janneke lives in some village about ten kilometers from Mt. Kenya National Park’s front gate; this picture was taken from her door step. Pretty cool, eh? Unfortunately it is the only picture I have of the mountain, as the girls were using their cameras most of the time!