Uganda 2023 Day 14
Today I woke up at 3:15a to walk down to the lobby. The walk there is outside and when I opened the door to leave my room, there was a waterbuck laying in the light a few yards away. I listened for noises and kept an eye on my surroundings since it was still dark out and I was leery of hippos being around. My room was at the very far end (the last room) from the lobby. I got to the lobby and tried to FaceTime a few friends, but nobody answered. So, I FaceTimed mom to make sure it was working. During that time Sydnee texted and said I could call her back. I did and we talked for a couple minutes. I was trying to say hi to the teens at church and she was not there. She had me try Zach and he answered. I was able to say hi to a couple teens and leaders. It was good to see them! I then went back to the room and to sleep. Thankfully, I was only up for 45 minutes and fell right back to sleep.
I was the first one from our team up at breakfast. Ema and Martin walked upstairs right before I did. I asked if I could sit with them and the three other people there who are using Martian’s safari group. They are also from Washington state. The team is from a Foursquare church in a bigger city near the seattle area.
When it was time for our boat safari, we drove across the bridge by our lodge and down to the boats on the other side. I thought we would take the double decker boat like in the past, but we took two smaller boats. Most of our team was in one boat, but Ashley, Bethany, David and I were with another group that Martin was hosting. The small boats were nice because we were able to get closer to the shore. There were so many beautiful birds, hippos, and a few crocodiles. We did see some animals on the shore including a giraffe in the distance, but no elephants like we were hoping. The one thing we learned during our ride, that came up later, was about the weaver birds. The males build the nest and if the female likes it they will pair up. If his nest is not chosen after three ladies look, he has to reassemble it. I learned after the boat ride that the other team’s boat hit a hippo. I guess they only hit it with the front of the boat and the motor was ok. Yoan said that Tony had been leaning against the railing when they hit the hippo. He said hippo looked so angry that if Tony would have fallen in he would not have survived. When the boat ride was over, we went back to the hotel for lunch and relaxation. I spent some time in the pool. It felt good to actually be cooled down. Although, while sleeping on the porch in Usuk I did get cold and had to use a blanket. It was fun to be with the other group and was easier for me because I talked to some of them at breakfast. At one point, Dr David, Bethany, and Ashley went to the roof of the boat. I did not because my arm was already burned from the day before and I did not want to fry. So, I talked to Bob and Kim as they were seated near me. Their group was at a school that another member started years ago. As they did not have any medical people in their group, they came along side a hospital and did testing for malaria, aids, hiv, and I think a couple other things. They also did evangelism I the community. The group went house to house and also had an event where they paid a group from Kampala to come play music at and help them. The crazy thing is they came in the same day we did and are leaving the same day and probably same flight as us. I also learned that when Jackie was about 12 she told her family she was going to do missions in Africa. This was her first trip to Africa. The person who told me this said that she brought so much joy with her for that reason. She was fulfilling a lifelong dream and calling.
We did an evening drive at 4:15p. Many of the team said they were not going to go after the night before being so amazing. I think the rest of us talked most of them into going. I rode in Sam’s (not Sam that drove pre safari) car and our guide was called Fidel Castro. Also in the car was Lany, Algena, Rebecca, Keith, and Ashley. Rebecca and Keith are from the other group. At one point, Fidel was talking about the fact that he was single and he needed to work on finding a woman. Then we brought up the weaver birds and the fact that he needed to build a new nest because no women like his nest yet. We said if he builds a new nest he can find his rib (aka Eve was from adams rib). We talked about it so much throughout the drive. It was so funny! He took it all so well. At one point he said he heard women are emotional and mean when they are pregnant, so he would leave until the baby was born after his wife for pregnant. Lany said, “oh, the nest you need to work on is your heart and head. She would slap you to Jesus if you left her alone when you are the reason she is pregnant.” He did say his head and heart were fine. We found one of the lion prides from the day before, but only saw two of the moms and the two cubs. We were able to watch them for awhile and then we moved on to other animals. The sad this is we never found heards of elephants. Only the one up close and a couple off in the distance the day before. Martian to a video of us in the car and wanted us to roar. We did and Algena said it sounded like lions during mating season. On our way out of the park, we found the three lions from the first pride we say yesterday. They were so beautiful!