Okay, so I know that I’ve been kind of A-wall for a while and I’m really sorry about that.
But I’m back to action and ready to fill y’all in on everything that’s going on in life here in the land of 1000 hills.
So first off, let me tell you about Uganda…since I never wrote about it like I said I would…
Uganda is amazing.
Crossing the border was a little bit of a process, as we had to go through at least 4 different border checkpoints, but it was fairly easy.
The very first thing I did when I got into the country of Uganda, too, was break the law….
Haha sounds like me—just getting into trouble..
I was walking over the border of the last checkpoint and, instead of walking all the way around the median dividing the two countries, I just hopped over it. Immediately afterwords, I was informed by the guard with a very large gun that that was illegal and I had just broken the law…
It was great. My rebellious side is really coming out in every way and in every country.
But anyways, Uganda was great—absolutely beautiful. But very different from Rwanda. Uganda is much rockier, flatter, and not as lush with vegetation. It is also a lot dirtier, in general.
From what I saw of Uganda, it looked much more like the stereotypical view of Africa than Rwanda does.
We went to Mbarara, Kampala, and Gulu. We stayed the majority of the 2 weeks we were there in Gulu, studying the conflict and resolution of Northern and Southern Uganda along with the LRA, NGOs, refugees, and so much more. It was fascinating! I learned sooo much!!!!!
We did a lot of crazy stuff there, and I experienced a lot of new things, like::
A crapton of amazing Indian food
God’s Grace Peanut Butter (cheap and freshly ground)
Nearly dying multiple times from almost being run over by bicycles and motos
Nearly dying but instead watching the car accident that happened 100 feet from where I was standing about 45 seconds earlier
Learning how to be sneaky
Eating the best pizza that exists in all of Northern Uganda
Getting ridiculously sunburned at the pool…but only on the upper half of my legs…
And oh, so much more :)
On our way back to Rwanda, we stopped for a night in Queen Elizabeth National Park, where we went on 3 different safari trips and stayed right in the middle of a wildlife preserve.
The first safari we went on was a boat safari where we saw hippos, elephants, bucks, buffalo, birds, a type of eagle, storks, crocodiles, and all sorts of fun stuff! We also saw the DRC ;)
Then, later that day, we went on a driving safari and saw most of the same animals but in a different environment. And the landscape was gorgeous!!
That night, we stayed in a hotel that was right in the middle of the national park, wildlife preserve. So basically, we had wild and dangerous animals roaming outside our bedroom windows all night long.
So, as 20 year old college students, what we decide to do after dinner that night is buy some beers and drink them out by the open field where a significant number of wild animals spend their time. When we first walked out there, I stood on the edge of the field with a friend. She looked over and said, “I want to run…Lets go!!” So we just booked it across this field, as fast as we could, running with one arm pumping and the other trying to hold our beers as steady as possible lol. We got to the other side and stopped. We looked around and saw that there were a number of animals spread out across the field….so we kind of flipped out and just ran back across even faster than we did before haha
Later, a group of us decided to walk down along the edge of the field and explore a bit.
Now, this was an incredibly stupid decision, but we proceeded anyways—with very little precaution. After walking down a little ways, we saw a heard of some sort of animal. And after another few seconds, we realized they were hippos….one of the most dangerous African animals, on land and in water. We all started flipping out and then even more after one of the hippos started making angry grunting noises…So, some of us got the hell out of there while some others stayed to take a long exposure picture…so stupid….
But we’re all alive and it makes for a great story now! J
The next morning we all got up crazy early to go on another little safari—where we saw lions from about a million feet away lol
But essentially, that was my trip to Uganda.
It was wonderful and so much fun and a much needed break from hectic life in Kigali.
Since being back in Kigali, I’ve had a lot of work to do and a very busy schedule. I had 3, 5 page essays due, a 9-15 page proposal for my Independent Study Project (ISP), and a bunch of other stuff.
Now, I’m not going to class, I have no real homework, and I have a whole month of my own time—because I’m now doing my ISP and my own independent research.
I have decided to do my research on the root causes of good and evil: why people chose to become either rescuers or perpetrators during the 1994 genocide and what motivated them to do so.
I am super excited for this project and I’m really interested in the subject. I think I’m going to come up with some fascinating results.
So, I’ve been in the process of collecting contacts, finding translators, setting up interviews, and conducting my own research. And it’s been Awesome.
I love it!
Other things for update…
umm well I’m living in my own apartment in Kigali, I’m doing my own thing, I’m thinking and processing a lot, writing a lot, I’ve written a couple new songs, and I’m starting to figure out the beginnings of what I want my life to look like right now and what I believe and what I’m doing, in general.
It’s quite the adventure.
I’d love to share more with y’all but this post is already super long and I’m really hungry…
Ndashaka kujya kurya ariko ndashonje cyane. (I want to go to eat because I’m very hungry)
So murabeho for now, but be free to post any questions or comments and I’ll respond in the next blog :)
I love and miss you all!!!