Thursday, 24 March 2016

On Top of Soroti

One month from today I will be touching down on Canadian soil once again. In many ways it seems like only weeks have passed since I first arrived in Uganda nearly six months ago.

Since last Tuesday I have been in the Eastern Region of the country, spending the first few days in Katakwi, and the remainder of the time in Soroti. Katakwi has a fantastic name, but is way too hot for this Orange Canadian, so I’m always happy to find myself back in the comforts of Soroti town and its surrounding areas. This trip marks my fourth, and sadly final, visit to the area – a fact I’m only now beginning to grasp.

When I first described the journey from Kampala to Soroti, I noted the changes in landscape and the beautiful scenery to be found along the way. This time, knowing it would be my last trip, I decided to film parts of the drive in order to preserve it in a tangible format for after I leave, but also to share it with others in order to stress just how beautiful this country truly is. And, what I’m even happier about was the opportunity to capture one of the most breathtaking sunsets – which I always seem to find when I’m in this part of the world! Seriously, Teso knows how to do a sunset. I’ve never seen one like those I have been fortunate enough to witness first hand during many drives.

But, my time here is nearing. It’s all sinking in that soon I will be leaving. This trip is both wonderful and heartbreaking. I’m saying goodbye to good people that I have begun to know. To children who I have seen grow in between my first visit and this one. To individuals and families who have inspired me with their drive, dedication and never-ending hard work.

As I sat under the same mango tree I mentioned just a few short months ago, I feel overwhelmed with the reality that I am returning back to Canada, yet, I’m at peace. I felt the same way sitting under that tree, surrounded by people I will never forget, as I do when I turn that corner on the 101 and see Blomidon from across the way. My heart is smiling. It’s filled with happiness and hope. I feel okay about leaving. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not looking forward to parting ways with this incredible country and those who have become a part of my life – but at least now I can leave, knowing that I’ve had a chance to make peace with this departure.

Cassava drying.
Sunset just outside of Soroti while visiting one of our model farmers, Janet.
Beautiful landscape on the way to the toilets in Ngora.
My last trek up-country wasn’t all sadness, though. No, there was the terrifying encounter with the largest spider I’ve ever seen in my bathroom twice in one night. And of course, there was the climb up Soroti Rock. This encounter was far more enjoyable until we ran into a few, shall we say, tourist deterrents. You see, on top of Soroti Rock is the area’s water supply, so the rock is usually patrolled, for reasons I have yet to find out*. But none of this matters, for, once we reached the top, caught our breath, and took a swig of water (not from the town’s supply, but our own), we enjoyed a few moments of fear-facing, excitement, and ultimately relaxation as we took in the beautiful views of the sunset and surrounding town.

Soroti Rock
(Image Source: Wikipedia)
The base of Soroti Rock. If you look close, you can see the blue metal handrails.
First snap from the top!
One more shot of the setting sun! 

I was also able to enjoy multiple epic lightening storms. And, I say lightening because on many late evenings the sky would light up with bolts from all over the horizon, often without the accompaniment of thunder. However, we did have one really good rainstorm**!

In a few more weeks, the Kennedy Sibling Reunion 2.0 will commence, and then I’ll be on my way. My return comes just two weeks before the two-year mark of my departure for Ghana, and my almost two years abroad. What’s next? Many things! Some are planned, some are in the works, and some still have yet to materialize at all. But, one thing's for sure, there will be some time home before the next big adventure kicks off!

And with that I bid a so long to Soroti. I hope to return someday soon.

-the Orange Canadian

*and probably won’t.
**Unfortunately, I am unsure how to upload an audio file to blogger... but will be sure to update once I do!

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