Friday, June 29, 2007

Return to Eldoret Update

Heading back to Uganda after a wonderful week in Kigali with Christian and Josephine Senyoni, we were warmly greeted at the border by Dunstan Luwaga, the friendliest border official in Africa. We try and persuade everyone we meet to visit us in Cape Town and I believe Dunstan will do so!

Our transit visa for Uganda allowed us six nights in the country and we decided to make the most of the time available. Heading towards Fort Portal, we spent the first night on the ridge of the Great Rift Valley overlooking the Queen Elizabeth National Park. It was a stunning view towards Lakes George and Edward as well as the Kazinga Channel which joins the two but, parked literally right on the edge of the ridge, I spent most of the night scheming the quickest way to get out of the tent if we went over the edge! We survived the night and the following morning drove through the beautiful scenery of the park towards our next stop over … this time situated on the edge of a crater lake. Now I not only had to scheme how to get out of the tent in a hurry but how I was going to swim to the safety of the shore! But God is good and I slept like a baby … despite the fact that we had a humdinger of a thunder storm during the night! The three crater lakes are situated 20kms from Fort Portal and the scenery is absolutely beautiful. We were the only people in the campsite besides the caretaker George who danced attention on us … I think he was so happy to have someone in the camp. He gave his friend Gordon about twenty avos as a gift when we left the following morning. One problem … Gordon doesn’t eat avos!

The following day we headed towards Kampala and spent the night about 120kms from the city at a place called Masaka. Lovely campsite but lousy neighbours … they partied with loud music until 6.30am! Although we felt decidedly jaded, we also felt considerably relieved that we would be negotiating the centre of Kampala in the relative peace of a Sunday morning … only to arrive there just as a flash flood hit the very section of road we were on … the section that is being repaired in time for the Commonwealth heads of State conference due to be held in the city in November. So you can imagine the red mud everywhere! But with an excellent driver like my husband (and he says I’m a pretty mean navigator!) we coped!

I was particularly looking forward to being in Kampala because we had arranged to meet up with two young men (James Mukwaya and Jack Musaali) with whom I had stayed in contact since we went on mission to Makerere University in the city with Trevor Pearce in 2001. And isn’t God so awesome … it just happened to be James’ 30th birthday! We celebrated James’ birthday with a delicious Ugandan banana, pineapple and a glass of granadilla juice and headed off to meet Jack and his wife, Miriam and have a late lunch. It was so wonderful being with this godly young couple that we ended up camping on the front lawn of their garden for the night. We spent the evening on their veranda overlooking the lights of the city … Jack played his guitar as we worshipped together and broke bread. What a blessing.

Next day we headed off to … wait for it … yes, you guessed … Shoprite!! We knew there was one in Kampala but by chance we found a brand new one in a brand new shopping centre. Gordon was delighted! He bought chocolates and cake and we stood ourselves the treat of a hot chocolate at the coffee shop. Yum! We visited the Bujagali Falls again (still as beautiful as they were in 2001) and spent the night at Jinga, on the banks of the Nile! Sounds very romantic but, although the area has incredible potential for tourism, it is very undeveloped.

The following day we did 73kms of very, very bad road, on which our windscreen was cracked by a flying stone from one of the many heavy trucks going far too fast. We crossed the border into Kenya and headed down to a very humid Kisumu, the fourth largest city in Kenya which is situated on Lake Victoria. Rather dodgy campsite with hoards of mosquitoes but it did manage a warm shower for us and had lots of nice dogs! Both Gordon and I were really looking forward to getting back to Eldoret which we enjoyed so much before. We have spent two nights here so far and have managed to do loads of washing (all done by my own lily white little hands!), sort out our ammo boxes and get all the red mud washed off Klunka. It has been freezing at night so we have enjoyed the roaring fire and a glass or two of double Amarulas in the bar at night. It was great to connect with Raj again and yesterday he invited us to join his family for lunch at the family home in the city. What for them was normal everyday fare, for us was a feast … all sorts of typically Indian dishes … so we made the most of it and sampled everything.

Tomorrow, Saturday we head via Lake Naivasha for Nairobi and once again have to endure the worst road in the whole wide world. In the meantime we are enjoying our ‘home from home’ as Raj calls Naiberi campsite in Eldoret.

Jean showing off amazing Ugandan fruit


Anonymous said...

Hi Gordon and Jean, The Lord laid the two of you on my heart this evening, so I reread your blog. It seems a while since you wrote. I trust you are both well. All is fine here, been a bit chilly for Cape Town, but when it is not raining we have had some warm days. Peter is actually in Namibia on business at present, wished I could also be there. I pray that the Lord continues to guide you and bless you as you bless the nations you visit. Love, dorothy.

Doug K said...

Hello lovely people, this seems to be a dream trip. Its so amazing to read about your trip. I hope the windscreen has not too much of a crack. Are you able to get it fixed or will it need replacing I wonder. Good to see you are keeping your clothes washed and giving kluka a wash too. Martin M is not well at the moment. He had a stomach issue about a week ago and then got horribly dehydrated. He looks like he is recovering, I just hope its soon. Am enjoying my time at the Warehouse where I am doing my Field Work - What a spot! If I can find sponsorship I will see if I can spend a year working with them next year. Big news - Riaana has decided to put off Masters studies for a while. She feels good about it and feels she can enjoy doing her honours now. Thats really great I think. Thing is she may go to the UK next year instead. I support that since its good for people to travel and work in other places...of course there is a but...(but)if she goes then she also would me to go along. Gosh, I realised that I could stay another year in CT and study and may now be able to work also so I changed the plan. I am very unsure about altering that to now going to the UK. We do things for love don't we, but is life really about making plans and changing them? Well, we will sort it out but at this stage I can't see myself going to the UK. Nosandin was in a car accident on Tuesday, not injured I hear but probably in a bit of shock. Jared leaves for Liberia on Saturday, wow. I had dinner with him at the home I am looking after and we prayed a while. I am sure he will learn a great deal from this experience.
ciao for now
Doug K

Christian and Josephine SENYONI said...

Hello Jean and Gordon, I am so glad that You could meet up with Jean Paul and Clementine in Nairobi. They are wonderful Godly people! Jo and I are praying for you and trust that God is giving you new things to see, and especially those that needs a prayer. We are glad to pray with you. Jo and I may have few days off close to Lake Bunyonyi. Yeeaah! Very excited to hear about your next trek!!!
Love to you both!
Josephine and Christian Senyoni