Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
I’ve been out of touch for a spell. Here’s why:
In the last week I’ve been rained on twice through leaky windows on two 12 hour bus rides while people asked me if I was married and why not, and if I could take them with me back to Canada and why not.
I outran US embassy guards on the back of a motorbike, then stood amazed later that night in a Kampala club as over a thousand Ugandans sang along to the Killers’ Are We Human.
I befriended a Ugandan soldier on one of the leaky bus rides. He wont stop calling me now.
I finally made it to southern Uganda’s Impenetrable Forest (see picture above), which I penetrated the following morning in a bid to find the endangered mountain gorilla.
I found the endangered mountain gorilla–an entire family that allowed me to spend one hour with them as they lounged around in the bush eating bark and looking thoroughly uninterested in the group of genetic cousins gawking at them.
I rode on the back of yet another motorcycle, clutching my laptop bag, over rutted, crumbling and muddy high mountain roads for four hours, one spill, a flat tire, and an endless supply of lush, terraced hillside, in a bid to make it to Rwanda in one day.
I followed a man at the Rwandan border through a dark alley in hopes that he wasn’t lying to me when he told me he knew of a good place to eat. He wasn’t lying. I ate and made it through to Rwanda in one day.
I arrived in Kigali, the capital city, on the evening of April 6th, 16 years to the day that the genocide began. In my first three hours I saw one person who’s eyes had been gouged out, one with no arms and two with no legs. I talked with my 24 year old hotel receptionist, a 23 year old waitress, a 29 year old bar tender and a 26 year old security guard who, when asked, all told me they had lost their entire families in one of the most savage genocides in human history.
Now I sit on the patio of the Hotel des Mille Collines, otherwise known as Hotel Rwanda, plotting what to do next.
In the meantime I compile photos and videos of sketchy bike rides, chilled-out gorillas and a completely transformed Rwanda.