Saturday, June 30, 2012

Muzungus at Mount Elgon

Our mini-vacation at Mt. Elgon was heavenly. We were in the clouds both physically and mentally, staying in bamboo bungalows overlooking a valley at Sipi Fall #1. We ate well, with a two-course lunch and four-crouse dinner. The food was catered to tourists but I can't say our group complained about that. We had more veggies in those two days than we’ve had in the last month combined. Without electricity, nighttime was aglow with kerosene lanterns and a communal campfire. We got know some of the staff around the campfire and learned a little about their tribe, the Sabieny. Because of the high elevation we did not sleep under mosquito nets, and our skin appreciated a much-needed break from bug spray. Some of us had our first warm/hot showers since our arrival in Pallisa. On Tuesday we climbed 14km of the mountain with our guide, Julius, to see the three Sipi Waterfalls.  At two of them we were able to stand in the mist created when the water hit the pool at its bottom. It was a refreshing and emotional experience for many of us.  Some even commented that they felt cleaner in this water than normally after taking a shower. We also went on a coffee tour where we were able to see the entire process behind local coffee production. We finished the day with a walk to a peak of Mt. Elgon where we watched the sunset. Although this trip revitalized our group in ways words can’t explain, we sadly recognize that many Ugandans will probably never get the chance to visit this magical part of their country.

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