Mzungu In The Mud

by Lena

running through Bwindi

On 25th of August I woke up early in the morning and headed towards dining area for breakfast.

Was going to need a lot of energy that day for my trek through Bwindi.

Got so caught up in a conversation with a couple of other travelers, that I didn’t even realize that my group had already gone to a meeting point for briefing.

Blood rushed to my face and panic to my senses…

I thrown my packed lunch in the backpack and run out of Nkuringo Gorilla Camp like a bat out of hell.

Luckily, it was ok and I actually had plenty of time, since in Uganda or Africa for that matter, time frames are very different from Western world…

When they say “Meet me at 12″ it means anywhere between 12 and 12:30 …

At the office I met Stacy, a girl who lives in Venice Beach, California… couldn’t believe it..

She had her own successful business and a closet full of pencil skirts, high heels, white shirts and jackets, which she traded for a backpack, boots, Boda – Boda , and a solo trip through Africa…

Stacy

I admire people like her!

We handed our passports and gorilla permits to a soldier with Kalashnikov. He explained that Nkuringo family has 14 gorillas and that hopefully we’ll get to see a few of them.

He also said, that male gorilla, Christmas, likes to joke with people and sometimes even hugs them.

It wasn’t an easy trek and I’m so glad it wasn’t raining, since I would probably be crawling to see the gorillas.

Bwindi was incredibly hot and humid and seemed like we all just paid $500 for a sauna ( the price of the trekking permit in Uganda )

We were also able to see the local native tribal inhabitants of the forest…

In a few hours we were finally there…

Alex

My heart was beating so fast.

I didn’t want to change my lens to a zoom lens …

I wanted to be as close as I could to them…

While everyone was on the other side of a bush, snapping away at the main Silverback of Nkuringo Family,

I was quietly lying on the grass right next to mother and child …

Main Silverback of Nkuringo group walking by behind them.

Being there with them, in their togetherness, is something I will never forget.

It was a very tender and intimate time between the two.

However, in a few minutes, the baby started playing around and what seemed like posing for the camera…

And then, I got to capture a moment that no one else saw…

TOGETHERNESS

It was an amazing trek and we were very lucky, because we got to see all 14 members of Nkuringo Family!

Christmas wasn’t in the mood for a hug though, I even asked for one, because I was so tired and in need of a hug, but he just proudly walked right by me…

next to Christmas

Even had some “Kalashnikov Fun” … of course I did …

I am Russian, after all  …

me Jane, you Kalashnikov… where’s Tarzan?

 We all had lunch in the bush and then it was time to head back…

This was the hardest part for me.

Because I shared my water with Alex, I had barely any left for the hike back…

Thank you to Stacy for sharing some water with a tired and dehydrated Mzungu.

My mistake; should have brought 3 liters instead of 1.5 …

After what seemed like eternity, we finally reached the office and were given a surprise – A certificate of completion.

Alex said goodbye to everyone and he left the camp with his group from Spain.

Nkuringo Gorilla Camp is lucky to have one of the best people working there -

Everest.

He took me on a walk around village.

The process of making a house  -

first stage

second stage

third stage

last stage

I even got to help with digging …

well sort of..

(Someone should send kardashians to this village to work off their butts and spoiled lifestyles.)

Afterwards, Everest invited me to his home for lunch with his mom.

Having sugarcane…

The last time I had sugarcane juice was in Zanzibar

Everest showed me around his place and explained about different plants and birds.

He said that he is building a house and then he can get a wife…

He said he would like to put his application in for a possible marriage with me.

I do accept applications, however the pile is becoming bigger and bigger by the day…

you know, all those Masai Warriors alone are somewhat overwhelming.

So many applications, so little time…

Everest’s mom prepared for us a delicious lunch – traditional meal of Uganda, Matooke, with beans and plantains.

Everest with his mom

It has been grey and cloudy at Bwindi for a few days and I wanted a bit of rain to clear up the sky.

Be careful what you wish for

_____________________

 The woman behind the words …

” Memories “

Internet Movie Data Base

Official Website