Monday, August 30, 2010

Things that go bump in the night!

I haven't been able to sleep very well recently. This is not due to the winged vampires that find their way under my net; but from forcing myself to watch three episodes of Flash Forward. Some girls at school rave about it, but as yet, I am still glad when the ending credits roll-up!
Now, I am a bit of a scary-cat...I couldn't watch Taggart when I was younger and even in Kuwait I walked out of the cinema when I realised I was going to sit at the edge of my seat for hours through a thriller...I happily trotted to the screen next door to see The Queen. Whilst holidaying at the coast in Kenya, I woke with a start when a millipede was crawling on my pillow...rather unpleasant. So, instead of tossing and turning and waking my roomie, I went to safer grounds and read the whole night by the light of the fluorescent bulb!
My sleepless antics became the source of amusement to my travelling buddies...and I told them of one of my first nights on safari in Uganda.

You may recall my 'Run for your life' story, from Mhingo Lodge. Well, this story is the night before the run!Now...this is a great story to tell...but maybe hard to read...remember it is my stream of consciousness for most of it...bare with me!

Sleeping Lions

The view from Mhingo
My friends and I had just arrived at Lake Mburu national park, known for its zebras, horse-back safaris and Mhingo Lodge. Wine was poured and stories were told well into the night. The owner was telling us of  the farmers in the area and that they were claiming for recent lion killings to their cattle...these unusual killings were the first for over 20 years. I found this story, against the back-drop of the African savannah (and all the sounds that go with that) quite was my first night on safari remember. Anyhow, never one to show my feelings (hohoho), when the night ended I bravely went my separate way to my luxury tent; dodging buffalo and baboons on the way. The tent is so special because it is positioned on stilts with a large veranda, looking right out to the salt-lick. You are really in the midst of the bush. I reminded myself of how 'wonderful' it was to be so close to nature, as I sat on the toilet, with all but a mosquito net between me and the dark unknown..ohhhh..just bliss!
Hmmm...heartbeat quickens.  It is OK, I am so brave...and I know just to stay still if a four legged feline comes to me, and I try to dodge the hippo and duck from a buffalo....or is it the other way round..oh no!!
Anyhow- back to reality, I am just going to curl in my bed with my book and read for a little bit. Oh, but lions don't have 3D vision,so if I have the light on, will they be able to see me in the tent!!!Oh-forget the reading, time for sleep...I am suddenly SO EXHAUSTED!!!
Sleep...I turn over...low guttural sounds were heard!!! Actually isn't that what the owner said was a lion's low a frog in the throat cough.
No, of course not!
Sleep...I turn over...I hear it again!!!!!

Oh god-now I am scared. I know, I will stop breathing, then the feline won't see me move!!!
I'll also quietly send a text message to my friends to save my life!!Thank god for modern technology!

No response from my friends...!!
What do I do now?
Text my friends to reiterate that I AM GOING TO DIE! And to say goodbye!!

A few minutes pass...I am still amazingly alive...(I think that the lion is just watching me at this point).

Loud god, there is more than one of them...and... LAUGHTER!

My two GREAT friends came to 'rescue' me...but were slowed down as they were laughing, along with the guard, so hard. I, now couldn't get out of my bed with fear and they couldn't get in to 'rescue' me...I  locked myself in, to keep ALL nightly visitors out!

When all parties had calmed down, and the guard had gone back to tell his friends about the crazy muzungu woman (yes, that would be me!)and my brave friend had checked under my bed and in the bathroom sink -we worked out my bed had a creak in it - thus making 'lion' like sounds every time I turned!

Oh yes, how funny!

I am a very brave and adventurous woman...lets run through the national park tomorrow, I said...and so we did!

I can't wait to go back to Mhingo!!!
Where was that lion Robyn??

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back with a Bang!

The holidays are over!
I am back in Uganda to continue my African Adventures for a wee while longer.
As always, I found leaving bonnie Scotland hard. My holiday at home was jam packed with fun and laughter. Stories were shared and lots of wine was had. (I joke to my friend that one particular story 'fed' me round Scotland).Tears were also shed- but only good ones, filled with love.
Friends and family that I met up with all want to know if I am happy, if I enjoy Uganda and curiously ask ..what makes it so special???
Well...I have been back just over a week and I have already; caught up with friends over tea and vodka, manged 3 runs looking out to Lake Victoria, been on a staff bonding over-night(where we played in the sunshine and gossiped into the night), been forced to go to the gym, played tennis, planned numerous camping weekends and activities...and started teaching Y4.
I have no time NOT to enjoy Uganda!!
I was supposed to be playing frisbee today, but rain stopped play-I now have some time to sit still, reflect and breathe!