Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thursday, 12/26/12

I've been working away on all sorts of things. No one is at school so I have no need to go over there. I had a very quiet Christmas by myself. I slept late, wrote letters, took care of some business and just generally enjoyed the peace. My Christmas dinner was pasta with chard from my garden.

The Trip to Uganda

From December 18-21 I went with three other folks and our driver/guide Chirenga to Queen Elizabeth National Park in Southwest Uganda. Every place we went was new to me, hence interesting. Chirenga picked me up right at school in Byumba as the road to Uganda goes right out of Byumba. We headed for the border, about 60 miles away. The border crossing was very chaotic to my eyes. And it was raining. We kept having to get out of the car (Range Rover) to do yet another thing. One has to pay $50.00 for a visa in Uganda. There were several forms to complete for both Rwanda and Uganda. Chirenga had to do many things to get the car across. We finally made it away from the border and headed for the Park. Uganda seemed similar to Rwanda re: the people, esp. the poor people, the types of houses, the markets, etc. We finally got to the park and stayed in a very nice hotel just outside the gate. Oh, almost forgot, we stopped for famous photos at the Equator.

These were one of just a few types of antelopes we saw. Please enlarge everything to see better.

 We also saw warthogs on the game drive and a tiny little elephant who was too far away to get photos.
After the game drive we had lunch and waited for the boat ride. We really didn't know what to expect, but certainly were not disappointed. The next photo is taken from the boat. Notice the few little lumps in the water and follow the next photos.

I think we easily saw 70-80 hippos within a very short time. They were in clumps of 5-12 and just barely moving. Sometimes all you could see were the eyes and ears sticking up out of the water. They were really enjoying their baths!

Water buffalo

And guess what? Finally, the elephants. You can see two backsides and a baby elephant over by the water.

These two were not greeting one another nicely!
This one banished the other..
                                                     Then went into full trumpet!!

                 The rest of this group marched off as well. Apparently the trumpeter had quite a bit of clout!

Elephant turning around when he is a safe distance away
More water buffalo

A lovely rainbow while we were on the boat
Many birds

 More elephant backsides

As we drove back from the boat landing to our hotel, these baboons suddenly appeared. The baboon in the foreground has a baby clinging to her back.
If you look closely, the baby is now hanging on to her belly!

That's the whole show, folks. On Wed., Sirenga drove us to a new place to spend the night. It was on a lake and was quite lively. People could get a room or they could pitch their own tents on the grounds. Most folks seemed to be going on or coming from game drives. Another reason Sirenga chose this spot was that it wasn't far from the Rwanda border. This allowed us to be a little lazy on Thursday morning and still get back home at an early hour. 

Since our return I have been lying low! I was tired and still nursing my cold-for the third week. I'd had enough! I finally put myself on antibiotics and they have helped a lot. I'm glad I had some.

I plan not to strain myself until after New Year's Day. I'm quite happy staying at home and trying to catch up with answering e-mail. Miriam has been visiting her family in Wramagana. If she doesn't get back soon the laundry is going to overwhelm her!

Hope you enjoy these photos. On January 19 my daughter, Kate, and brother, Don will be visiting. On that date we will go on safari on the Serengeti plain in Tanzania. We have high hopes of seeing a lot of game there. Until later......

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