Original Leisure & Entertainment


Hello friends and family!


I’m in Gonder, Ethiopia right now. I thought I’d send an update, but probably won’t take time to go into lots of details – the internet connections here are expensive (though it’s very cool to have access at all)!

I had a great time in Kenya in the Maasai Mara National Park and the Maasai village. I’ll send a message with the description I promised of the Maasai culture in the future. (One note – tragically, the ceremony turned out to be a female circumcision ceremony. Fortunately, I was only there for the 1st day of the ceremony, which is more of a time of preparation, singing, and eating. I was feeling pretty bad for the two girls who were going to be circumcised
the next day!)

From Nairobi, I took an overnight bus to Kampala, Uganda. I spent about 2 weeks in Uganda and Rwanda. Both countries are incredibly beautiful – I think they’re my favorite scenery-wise of the trip. In Uganda, I went to Murchison Falls National Park. Murchison Falls is a place where the Nile River goes crashing down through a gorge that’s only about 7-meters wide. I saw the falls from a hike above them (so much power in the water!), and from a boat trip up the river to them (with tons of birds, hippos, and crocs along the way). I also went to Kibale National Park in Uganda, and did a walk there to see chimpanzees in the wild. We had quite a lucky hike – they were easy to see and were even down on the ground for some of the time.

Next, I caught rides down to Rwanda to do a trek to see mountain gorillas. On one of the rides, we drove through Queen Elizabeth National Park. We weren’t actually stopping there, but my luck with animals held. From the main road, we saw 4 of the tree-climbing lions in the southern part of the park. They were just lounging around on big branches of fig trees – so cool!

I spent the day doing the trek to see the mountain gorillas. That was also incredible. We hiked through a beautiful environment of volcanoes, with lots of fields carved as tiers along the slopes. When we got into the forest and actually saw the gorillas, it was thrilling! We saw all 3 of the silverbacks of the group, several other adults, and several juveniles. We were very close to them – sometimes we had to move out of the way when one of the big adults wanted to get past us! And we got to see the silverbacks charge each other a couple of times and to watch the younger gorillas wrestling and climbing among the bamboo trees.

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