(Lindsay): Last night was a bit of arougher night than the previous one – Ryan and I both had nightmares, Ryan’s involved come crying out in the middle of the night – I had to wake him up twice. We did manage to sleep in after that though, the latest we’ve slept on the whole trip, 8:20 am. We got up and wandered to breakfast where I had some nice eggs and Ryan had a fancy banana crepe with chocolate shavings on it. He couldn’t resist the chocolate. Today went along the same lines for me in the relaxing department as after breakfast I read for a while and then went to shower while Ryan did laundry in the wash pit. Yes, Ryan did laundry, by hand. My shower was cold, turns out the rest of the camp is not attached to the fancy solar water heater, though I don’t know why they don’t buy another one for the rest of the camp. You can still have a hot shower if you like it just involves asking the kitchen to boil some water for you, then they come and pour it into a large can on top of the shower and then you turn on two taps, cold and nearly boiled water to create a mixed stream of perfect temperature water. I didn’t do that as I didn’t know and neither did Ryan later in the day. I found the shower quite cold but Ryan’s later was enjoyable as it was just refreshing for him and not too cold. Luckily for me the sun had helped war my towel and clothes so when I put them on I warmed up pretty quickly. Ryan was of course doing laundry.
(Ryan): So I’m off doing laundry as I needed to clean some shirts and a bunch of underwear. It was a pretty simple if tiring experience. Dump clothes into cold soapy water. Move them around for a while then scrub them together or better yet use the brush I found on the ground. Attempt to scrub out dust stains, which went pretty well on my socks. Then put in rinse bucket, rinse. Move to another rinse bucket, rinse again. Then squeeze them dry and put in another bucket you already used to take back to the dome to hang dry. The wringing out of the clothes was the worst part as at the end of that you are super tired and your hands are all red from the wringing of the clothes and the cold of the water. While doing laundry I met Chris, a retired American from Florida (cliche a bit) who was also doing some laundry. Turns out he’s actually backpacking around as he only has a school backpack worth of items. Quite impressive, but he has to wash clothes a little more often. I took my hard worked laundry about and hour or so later and hung it all up to dry on our geodome porch rail and on the rope I brought with us. Rope is one of the most practical and handy things we brought on this trip, always bring rope. Clothes clean I took off to clean myself while Lindsay read her book, “No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency”.
All clean and refreshed we headed to lunch where we had some more good vegetarian, or fish, food and of course super cheap beer that always comes in 500 ml bottles. The Ugandan beers consist of Nile Special, Bell, and Club. My fav is Bell which is the darkest of the lot judging by the taste. After lunch back to the dome for more reading and napping for Lindsay while I toured camp making sure to get photos of the camp this time and not just the birds and paths around it. Last night, while it was kind of cold, I finally discovered the 15th article of clothing that we had sent to get washed in Kigali, Rwanda – my hoodie. The positive side to this is that I figured it out, the negative part being I didn’t have it to keep warm so I wore a tshirt with a long sleeved shirt over top and then my rain coat and was still chilled at night time. We’re hoping that when we can get some internet we can send a message to Amber, who is still in Rwanda and planning on going back to Kigali and the hostel, and see if she can find the hoodie somewhere as I’ve had it, on and off (lost it before), since freshman year at University.
(Lindsay) The cloudy weather yesterday was quite deceiving and despite my best efforts to sunscreen and sit in the shade, today I have a sunburned forehead and nose. My face feels warm and I’m a bit grumpy because it is making me feel sleepy and a bit dizzy. Ryan let me nap for a while then took me for a walk. We had done a walk earlier today, just around the hotel property, stopping at the benches scattered along the way. I was tired after that one, and even after my nap was not feeling up for a hike to the Itambira village. But Ryan insisted, so we went. We saw Ivan the goat herder tending to his goats along the way and then walked up the little hill to Itambira village. The village seemed deserted until further along we finally met some people, all very polite and welcoming. We met John who took it upon himself to guide us through the rest of the small village. The village is apparently 15 people and 20 children, but that number didn’t seem too accurate as some of the other villagers put up different amounts of fingers than that. The people living here farm bananas, of a few different varieties, matooke, sweet potatoes and Irish potatoes. They also have one cow, chicken coops and goats. When we had to walk past the cow it was quite humours as John went out of his way to pick up a branch and hold it against the cow so she didn’t attack us. Apparently all the other white folk that show up on this island are afraid of cows. Having grown up on the prairies this one cow wasn’t going to scare us. Granted they don’t burn the horns off of their cattle so all the Ugandan cows have these massive horns that are 5 feet long on the older ones and are a very distinctive Ugandan animal that you see on your travels. So Ugandan that they show up regularly in their art work.
We met a few children, eating sugar cane, who were excited to see us and told us their names – so cute. John showed us into his sister’s “house”, seemed more like a little workshop where she weaves mats, fish traps and an assortment of craft items meant to sell to tourists. It was a dark, dank little hut and weaving straw/husk by hand seems a very unforgiving task but turns out very nice works. We couldn’t buy anything if we wanted to as carrying it away for the rest of the trip would have been impossible as nothing was that small. John led us through the village, over the hill and banana plantations, down the other side of the island to the lake shore. Here he showed us some crayfish traps he uses as a fisherman, these ones were complete with crayfish doing their best to run for freedom. He took them out to show us and I got a good look at what Ryan wants to have for dinner tonight. While at the water we happened upon a couple of crested cranes, the national bird of Uganda and it’s on their flag. We then headed back to the hotel with John and we decided that before he asked us for money for the tour, which we figured was coming, we would tell him we wanted to give him a gift. He was the first African to take us to do something in a nice manner and not demanding money from us before going anywhere. We didn’t want to ruin that experience so Ryan went ahead to go back to our geodome to get some cash to give John for his nice tour. While John and I walked together he told me about the weather and being a fisherman and I asked about his life in Uganda. When Ryan got back we thanked him for his insights and sharing with us and went our separate ways.
Back at camp we sat in our dome, enjoying the last bit of light we will see here – the rain came while we lounged and we pulled the drying clothes inside to hang, hoping they would dry by morning. I finished my book, returning it at the canteen on our way to dinner. We had our last meal here looking over the water – Ryan had the avocado crayfish which was different he says but not something he would regularly eat, but still tasty. I now sip on a hot chocolate while Ryan uses the hotel laptop to confirm our plans in Kampala and email Amber about his missing hoodie. We leave early tomorrow for another long bus day to Kampala, but it will be on of the last and hopefully a good chance to view the landscape of Uganda. It will also be the shortest bus day of the trip being only 7 hours, if all goes according to plan. Ryan is now paying up our bill and has apparently managed to book onto the boat leaving at 8:15 in the morning. We’re hopping on board with the British couple that came and stole our deluxe geodome and splitting the cost of the boat with them. We’re going to bed and hoping the laundry is dry. Good night Byoona Amagara it has been wonderful.