Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fun Day Saturday June 20th - The Narrative

High above the Nile River, the Sunnyvale scouts viewed the scene, poised upon their horses...

Following up on the pictures posted early for June 20th:

The day had started unlike any of the others... after three full days of brick laying and wall raising, the team got to sleep in an extra hour or so. :-) After a devotion and breakfast, the team began their journey and headed out for Jinja, Uganda (about 50 miles east of Kampala. The itenerary was ambitious: to experiance Uganda from as many modes of transportation as possible.

Bus: Under the expert navigation of Steven, the team passed east out of Kampala on the Watoto bus, passing through the industrial part of the city (already bustling early on a Saturday morning) and headed out into the eastern countryside. The trip went smoothly, rolling over green hillsides, through green forests and among farms raising tea leaves. Though only a little more than 50 miles from Kampala, the trip takes ~2.5 hours. Traffic is quite busy (the number of stop signs and traffic lights we have seen can be counted on one hand) and the road is one lane in both directions.

Boat: Though mostly associated with Egypt and the Old Testement, the Nile River actually has its source in Uganda. And it is quite a rushing start, with many sets of rapids located just off of the source. We de-bus and view the river from a small bluff overlooking the rapids. From there, we descend to a calm cove off of the river where we board two boats. For the next hour or so, to tour a calm section of river between the rapids, observing the local water fowl and exploring a small island in the river. We return to shore and spend a few moments watching kayaks come through the rapids.

Quad-bike/ATV: Next up is traversing the bluffs above the Nile river via quad-bike (also known as ATVs (All-Terrain-Vehicles). Between the suits, helmets, goggles and bandanas, we look like a set of airport workers trying to mimic World War 1 motorcylists. We are quickly trained on the basics of the ATVs (the younger folk have automatic transmissions, while the older folk have manual transmissions) overcoming some initial stalls and running into the brush and head out into the jungle. We zip along the ridge above the river and through paths used by some of the nearby villages (the ATV shop provides some if the monies from these tours back to the local economy). We enjoy the view as well as the opportunity to try the ATV's in the open in a small field. After over an hour of driving, it is a relief to return and remove the equipment and have a chance to wash out the dust.

Horse/Hiking: From the quad-bike run, we reboard the bus, make a somewhat quick stop for lunch and cross over to the other side of the river. There some of the group dons English riding gear and trots off into the jungle to enjoy the sights while the other part of the group hikes down to the Nile and has the opportunity to wade and/or swim in the river. Both groups return to the stables (though one group has sorer bottoms than the other :-) ) and have the opportunities to watch a family of monkeys play in the trees.

From there it is back onto the bus for the trip back to Kampala (with much snoozing on the bus) and dinner. A most excellent day exploring the wonders of Uganda...



  1. That's a lot of different modes of transportation for one day!

  2. We are watching your trip from New Mexico.
    We hope you are taking a lot of photos.

  3. this is so you, Jeff/Christine.

    -Debbie (Dyslin)