Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Back 2 Life, Back 2 Soroti

I had the pleasure of once again heading back to Soroti, for some brief discussions with a few of the community members I’ll be working with, and to handle some legal stuff (boring!). This time, however, I just went for the day, which makes for quite a long one! It’s about 7 hours of driving, or about the distance between Halifax and Sackville (New Brunswick), but in the time it takes to drive from Halifax to Charlottetown, each way. It’s doable, but I’m always thankful it’s not me behind the wheel!

Anyway, this trip in particular was a bit crazier than usual. As we made the turn past Iganga headed towards Mbale, we were greeted with a sign that the road would be diverted ahead, but gave no reason as to why. We didn’t think much of it, and when we say where we “needed” to turn off, we just went with it, unquestioningly.

This photo doesn’t quite do how beautiful it was justice, mostly because of
the sun. But no sooner had I taken this shot when the roads began to... well, end. 
At first, we thought, this is actually a pretty good road! But as we drove on, we encountered more than a handful of places where the road had been completely washed out... which you might think would present quite a bit of a problem and make you question why this was the diversion road, but my Ugandan driver just went with it, causing me to both laugh and fear for my life, on a number of occasions. Regretfully, I didn’t think to take any pictures, as I was more concerned with the fact that we were going to be late (ha!) for our 10am meeting, and not toppling over. The diversion took us an extra half an hour, and only placed us maybe a kilometre or two up the road, so we had quite a bit of distance to make up for.

But as we drop from Jinja to Soroti, it was refreshing to see so much green. The last time I had been was the beginning of February, and things on the Jinja side were starting to liven up. This was not so much the case in Soroti. Thankfully, however, the rainy season is slowly coming in to full swing in the district.

Above: green landscapes between Jinja and Iganga.
Below: Things are slowly coming to life in Gweri, Soroti!

After meeting with the community members, I had the pleasure of meeting a delightful new friend, which caused quite a stir for those who were witness. Throughout the discussions, I was quite quiet, focused more on hearing what those who joined me had to say. But, as soon as I layed eyes on this little one, I broke out of my shy shell and began quite the conversation! And he(?) was a talker!

It was love at first sight! I named it bacon.
Unfortunately, this love was unrequited. 
Once the day’s goals were accomplished, it was back to Jinja. As we approached the diversion point, we nervously awaited visual of whether or not we’d have to pass the same route. This was when we really started laughing to ourselves. It turned out, we took the wrong route. If we had just kept going, where we came out this time around, we could see where we turned in to our left. No washed out roads. No lengthy drive to get no further ahead. Ah boy...

And, just like the previous trip, as we approached Mbale, we were greeted with rain, just in time to see Mt. Elgon poke it’s weary head from underneath the clouds.

Raindrops! Which removed much of the dirt we accumulated earlier in the trip!
The real win of this drive, however, was capturing what I have been known to call “the creepy trees”. While they don’t look so creepy in the pictures below, I can assure you early in the morning, with the sun just edging through each trunk and coming from the other direction - they look mighty unnerving, for this little Orange Canadian!

Again, it probably doesn’t look super creepy, it might need to be one of those you have to 
see it for yourself thingies, but it is what it is. Happy I was finally able to somewhat capture it. 

And with that, my phone battery died, and I enjoyed the rest of the drive, thankful that I, once again, was not behind the wheel.

-the Orange Canadian

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