Saturday, May 1, 2010

Exploration : day 3

This was our Goal.... Mgahinga Gorilla National Forest. This is the "home" of several extinct volcano's as well as a few active ones. Very beautiful chain of mountains. We had driven and driven for several days to get here. And we were ready to leave the moment we arrived! Crazy huh! More of the mountain side farming..... We have decided that the people that live around Mgahinga national park, don't get many visitors. This is were we stayed while at Mgahinga. This little camp/banda was literally at the end of the road. Meaning the road stopped, the only way you could travel further in Uganda was on foot. Which is one reason why we didn't stay any longer then necessary. There were several factors that contributed to our desire to high tail it out of the area!

#1 - To see the gorillas in the park... you had to pay $500 an HOUR! CRAZY, and so not in our budget!

#2 - The only way to get to see the park at all, gorillas or not, was to walk, and we didn't think that either of the two little ones would walk long enough to make the expense worth it.

#3 - The people! I know that sounds awful, but they were overwhelming. Almost EVERY person, (adult and child both) that we passed asked for money... no they demanded money. "You give me money!" "You give me money!" that was all we heard. Kent and two of the girls tried to walk around, and were mobbed by a group of children. They would stand on the other side of the short fence and stare at us... watching every move, holding their hands out, begging. If we could have communicated with them, it might have been easier. We could have at least shared Jesus with them, but we couldn't even do that! I think that so much of their mentality was due to the fact that they can't/don't leave the mountain much. They are just now working on a paved road (which was extremely nice in the places it was finished), and there is a limited amount of transportation that goes that direction.One of the reasons that I haven't posted more pictures of our Home city, is because I don't want to make the people that I live with feel like this woman. When she realized that I was going to take a picture, she hid.
These Crested Crane are the national bird of Uganda. This would be like seeing a bald eagle in your back yard, cool huh!
Boys, these were probably some of the few boys that didn't demand that we give them something.
OK this is is a funny story.... While we were driving over the mountains we get a text on our phone that says.... "Welcome to Rwanda", later we receive another text telling us how to call information while in Rwanda. We start frantically looking at a map, trying to figure out how, when and WHERE we crossed the border. Then we approached this guarded area. Keep in mind that NOBODY speaks English, so we have no idea where we are, or if we are about to cross into another country. So we turn around and drive back to the little community. We decide to call a hotel, and see if they can help us, they suggest following a Boda Boda (motorcycle taxi) to their location. So we find a driver that can kind of understand what we need, we turn BACK around and we start following.
He drives right on through the guarded area, and it is not until we are passed it that we realize we were driving on the runway, for the airport. We weren't where we thought we were, but we weren't in Rwanda either.

This is a nice shot of the road that we had to take to get over the mountains. Note the two semi's going in opposite directions.... then notice the herd of cows that are on the road, right where the white truck will soon be driving.

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