I can’t believe it’s already 2019! WOW! Talk about writer’s block, am I right?! Mine was a massive one… You haven’t heard from me for TWO YEARS!!! Like what is this? How could my life have been so boring with nothing to write about???
But boy have we changed that since Christmas… I’ve finally spent a couple of weeks in the Gorilla Highlands and have many many many stories to share with you. But for now let me just take you back to the 24th of last month (DECEMBER 2018)…
It was my first day at Edirisa on Lake Bunyonyi, and as you might guess from the video above I spent hours — and I MEAN hours — working on my baby brother’s first Christmas tree. It took me three break downs! Three!! 3!!!!
And then my not-so-baby brother Maani had the audacity to say that each of us apparently “put all our EFFORT and TEAMWORK” to make the tree…WHAAAAAAT???!!! He didn’t even help decorate it!!!! He did help get the sticks but the rest is claptrap.
That same night we also came up with an idea…
A DESSERT COMPETITION!!!!
We did it the next day, on Christmas (YAY!). Maani, my sister-from-another-Mister Myla and I were participating and everyone else became the judges. I was going to make PANCAKES for the competition but unfortunately and for some strange reason I forgot how to make them when it mattered most, which wasn’t great.
I began to panic … like literally PANIC!!! I had no clue what I was going to do! I scratched my brain for anything that I could make in two minutes, and while I was suffering Myla and Maani were enjoying themselves and opening their Christmas presents. (How had they already finished, HOW???) But even with me practically losing it I eventually made something and won!!!!! I’m not bragging… that much 😉
On the 28th of December I went with the rest of the kid squad (Myla’s cousin Ama had joined from Kampala) to my dad’s friend’s farm. He is called David, he works in tourism, and he was meant to chat with Steve. Steve was an American volunteer from Kosovo with the job of interviewing Gorilla Highlands partners (you can go check out his blog). I liked him because he was funny and wise, and you might hear of him again when I write about our trip to Kisiizi Falls.
Anyways, I was SHOCKED when David decided to give me one of his rabbits. I thought he was joking at first!!! I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS wanted to have a bunny!!! I named her Cuddles.
The rest of the holiday went by, which I will talk about in other blogs for sure, and before I knew it, it was the last day of 2018!!!!!!
I woke up that day feeling really excited and ready to party! I know I have talked about this New Year party before, like waaaaaaay back, but if you have forgotten the main event is going on the lake in canoes and lighting candles to float on it. (Don’t worry we pick them after, because we DON’T litter!!!)
We had a meeting were we discussed everything about the party and who would work on what, you know like a real meeting with decisions and ideas. This time it was different because we were hosting the party instead of going to Tom’s Island — we had little babies to take care of, you know… To help things go faster all of us were spilt into two groups the COOKING TEAM and the DECORATING COMMITTEE. And let me just say we all did an amazing job with EVERYTHING!
After my sickly dad gave a presentation on a big TV screen about the best moments of Gorilla Highlands in 2018, we headed to the dugouts and went on the lake with the candles, which we had tweaked to make sure they float on the water. Minutes passed and everyone was on the lake waiting for the countdown from … maybe Owen?
Owen is a freelance guide who has been with Edirisa for as long as I can remember, and he was meant to be in charge of this part. I was completely confused on what to do, when all of a sudden he shouted “put the candles on the lake!!!” and that exact moment everyone else started screaming “HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!”
I WAS SO LOST!!! Then there were loud bangs and lights in the air above Bunyonyi Safaris, and when I looked up I realised they were FIREWORKS!!!!!!! I was in utter awe! They looked mind blowing and it was all perfect!!! When the firework show died down the rest of the night was a blur…
Let’s now forward to our last day on Bunyonyi, the 4th of January 2019. As always I woke up early, at 10 in the morning, and went down to Edirisa’s canteen to say goodbye to Carla and Comfort — two amazing people who had helped with the New Year’s party and will feature in my blog again — and … Cuddles.
It was a TOUGH decision to send my rabbit with them, however, I realised it wasn’t smart to take her to Kampala where Maani keeps two energy-filled-always-hungry dogs… I suspected they could eat Cuddles the moment they saw her. Instead she would get a good life at Comfort’s place on the most southern tip of the lake.
Dad told us we would go for a picnic in the afternoon, so I ordered only chapatis for everyone, got ready and then got onto my phone to wait. … Mostly because I was waiting for our canoeing adventure, but also because I was kind of maybe a little bit BORED!!!
Following an afternoon downpour, Ama, Myla, Maani, Dad and me paddled towards the centre of Bunyonyi. Looking for a nice picnic place we ended up on Bushara Island. It’s my dad’s favourite island and honestly mine too; I just can’t help but enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and stare in amazement at how beautiful the birds on it are!
While we ate near the water from the absolutely wonderful picnic basket Izy had packed for us, my brain was in high gear. I was on a roll, I told Maani that I wasn’t pudding up with him anymore and very soon I was done raisining with him altogether! (NOTICED WHAT I HAVE DONE??? These were all puns related to what was on the menu!)
We were supposed to leave some room for the hot chocolate pudding that we would have at the restaurant at the top of the island. Maani seemed to be in a rush and hurried up the path, I wanted to relax and take my time around it, while Dad thought it was the perfect moment to show Ama and Myla the glorious place where Maani once went smack into a tree, HAAAAAAAAAAAA!
We ate the heavenly pudding, stayed at the restaurant for a little longer but then had to head back to Edirisa not to make Myla’s and Ama’s mother too worried. THE WATER. THE NIGHT. CHILDREN. YOU KNOW…
I asked Dad to take a photo with his phone because the evening on the water surface was so glorious. The first stars were coming out as well. And then the journey of muscle pain began…
I personally thought we would never make it back, my arms were hurting and I thought they would FALL OFF, but surprisingly we did. I had not a clue why it felt like forever, I mean I didn’t think it took that long when we were going there! Did it? I had seriously never felt anything like that before especially when our destination was in view, it had felt so close yet so far away.
When we finally arrived I thought I could rest but NO that didn’t last long because my Daaaaad reminded me that I had promised to write this blog…
And now that’s all over and you all know a bit of what I did for Christmas, I’M GOING TO BED!
…For now of course (*eyebrows* *eyebrows*)
photo: New Year’s Eve images by Isabelle Masozera and Steve West; the rest by Miha Logar