Monday, September 8, 2014

Getting to the good stuff

It's pretty daunting to start writing blog posts about three straight weeks of awesome vacationing and safari-ing, but what makes it even more daunting is that the first part of the trip was the most emotional and physically/emotionally difficult and physically/emotionally rewarding. So I think I'll break it up a bit so I don't have to overwhelm myself.

My mom and our friend D arrived late on a Saturday night. I spent the day making sure their rooms were ready, last-minute grocery shopping, and napping. I had a mani/pedi in the evening and headed straight to the airport. Their flight was on time, and it was so exciting to see them come through the doors after immigration and customs! We had a thankfully short trip back into Kampala, and I got them home and settled in and to bed. The next day we had brunch at one of my favorite haunts followed by a quick city tour. After a short rest at home we headed for dinner and a show at the Ndere Cultural Center. The dancers and performers were absolutely wonderful, and I'm glad I finally went. The show was a lot longer than it needed to be, especially since I had to work the next day.

While I worked on Monday, M&D toured a few Kampala sights with my driver and then picked me up after work. We had a nice dinner out and a quiet evening. Tuesday they had lunch at the Embassy with me and then got to sit in on one of my outreach sessions and meet all my coworkers. We had dinner at home that night and packed for our first adventure - gorilla tracking and safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park!

Wednesday morning, though, didn't start well. Mom had somehow gotten food poisoning and wasn't really in any shape for a nine hour drive. We were headed out for six days, though, so unfortunately she didn't have a lot of options. We brought a ton of meds and ziploc bags with us and told our driver we might need frequent stops. It was a very rough journey - literally, and especially for Mom - but we finally made it to our lodge after 11.5 hours on the road. Mom was showing some signs of recovery but definitely couldn't stomach food that night for dinner and went to bed early. At that point we weren't sure she'd be well enough to trek in the morning, though the good news was that she wasn't contagious and wouldn't pose a health risk to the gorillas if she did feel better in the am. D and I had a quiet dinner with our driver/guide and headed to bed.