Saturday morning 14 of us headed out at 7:00 am for about a 12 hour drive to Paraa Safari lodge. We drove through many small towns and villages along the way which was interesting to see. I would love to stay in a small village in a hut just for a few days to experience thier life and see what it is all about. Nobody hear really seems to have a sense of time and it feels like no one ever sleeps here. It doesn't matter what time you are out driving on the road, it is always filled with people. Sometimes i just see people standing around by themself and wonder what they are doing. I wonder if they are standing around because they have no where to go, or if they are waiting for something? I would just love to learn the lifes of people here.
On our way to safari we stopped in the nice town of mindcity for a wonderful lunch and then headed to a rhino sanctuary. We got to see 3 young rhino's but they were sleeping the whole time. The rhino's are watched 24 hours a day in the sanctuary because of the previous poaching of rhino's. Can you imagine that being your job. Everytime a rhino gets up and moves you have to follow it? Or the day we were there we saw the 3 young ones that just slept the whole time, and there were 2 people there watching over them.
After the rhino sanctuary we headed to the top of Murchison Falls, a beautiful waterfall going down into the nile. If you climed up to the very top of the falls, there was a beautiful rainbow passing over. It was such an incredible site, no pictures or words could explain what I seen and felt. It was muddy walking to the top, so we headed back down, climbed some rocks and washed our feet in the Nile, it was awesome. After spending about an hour watching the falls and taking it all in, we got back on the road to Paraa. To get to our lodge we had to hop on a ferry with our vans to go across the Nile. As we arrived on shore, we were greated by a few warthogs, baboons, and in the back we saw a baby elephant and 2 bigger elephants. It was awesome. When we got up to our lodge, they were waiting there with a glass of passion fruit juice, and a cool rag to wash our face from the dusty road. We checked into our rooms and headed straight to the pool to cool off and for a drink. The food we had there was buffet style for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was a lot different from what we had been eating at mild may. My favorite was the omelette station in the morning.
Sunday morning we headed out on our first game drive. If you know me, you know i get excited just seeing deer. If I were in charge of the drive we would have been out there all day taking in every animal and all the fresh air I could. We seen some water buffalo, then lots of antelope (orbi, jackson hartebeast, and kob). After what seemed forever, we finally seen some giraffe's and that was great. The group we had seen was a little further away but we could see a baby with them that the ranger said was probablly only a few hours old! Most of the morning the ranger kept taking us around to try and find the lions. We finally got word of where they might be and spent a couple hours trying to get sight of them. Finally we spotted them standing behind a few buffalo. The ranger says "hurry and take as many pictures as you can because we are not allowed to do this," and she directs our driver to go off road closer to the lions. We got about 30 yards or so away from 2 male teenage lions. Awesome! On our way back to lodge we finally got to see some elephants which was exciting.
We got back to lodge and headed straight to the pool again. Spent an hour or so out by the pool had some lunch and then headed out on a boat ride down the nile. The boat ride was incredible. We saw a lot of rhino's. We also saw quite a few elephants that had come down to the river to drink and got so close to a few of them that they got protective and angry at us and started trumpting if thats what you call it lol. It was so cool to hear them, and watch them drink the water out of the nile. We headed farther down the Nile to the bottom of Murchison falls. It was very pretty, however I liked seeing it from the top better i think. Maybe because i caught a rainbow in my photos from the top. Our driver told us, Murchison Falls is the best place in Uganda, if you don't go visit it while you are here you miss out. I totally agree with that statement. Along with the rhinos and elephants we saw some crocidiles and lots of differnt birds. After the boat ride, we headed back to the pool to cool off, had a drink then went to dinner. It was an early night for me, i was tired and a little sore from riding around in the safari van all morning.
Monday morning we were up and in the van at 7am for another short game drive out of the park and to head back to Mildmay. We saw a lot of antelope, a few elephants, and some giraffes in the distant which were running at full speed. I took a video of the giraffes running, they are so fun to watch while running.
Tuesday was a good day in clinic; we were expecting around 80 patients however only 53 showed up. It was somewhat of a blessing because all 53 children needed a lot of work to be done. We saw a lot of unusual things that day. The heartbreaker for me that day was a patient that Dr. Justin and Shelly worked on. It was an 18 year patient with a mouth full of abcess's, she need all 32 adult teeth removed. We had Dr. Paul talk to her, and she said she did want them all out. I can't imagine the pain that she was in, that at 18 years old you would want all your teeth out. It took a few hours for them to work on her, and he put sutures in on top and bottom. We saw her getting on the bus at the end of the day and she was waving and smiling, it brought a tear to my eye. It made it easier to handle knowing that she would be out of pain and that she was smiling and happy. She even had eaten a little lunch that day. There is talk that we may try to get her set up with a dentist her and get some money together for dentures for her. We just want to make sure that she would be responsible enough and willing to make it to all the appointments.
Sorry if this blog is out of sorts, i started writing it wednesday morning and we lost internet and only part of it had saved so i tried to remember everything i wanted to say about safari and tues clinic.