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My Trip to Rwanda (Part 4)
Thursday, 09 September 2010 Written by Antonela Perić

Uganda - Equator

Ever since I arrived in Rwanda, my uncle hasn’t stopped talking about – Uganda. I tell him this is good, and he tells me that it’s even better in Uganda. I tell him that is good, and he talks about Uganda again. I realized that when I am to talk about something positively, I should immediately add that it’s all probably a lot more interesting in Uganda. My uncle is listening to me, grinning beneath his moustache. He’s satisfied and keeps repeating how good a girl I am, because I listen to him so carefully. Few days ago, after breakfast, he just yelled: “You’ve got ten minutes to pack, we’re going to Uganda!"

I was excited, because I had long realized that my uncle always gets excited when he hears the word Uganda. When you think of it, he did start his missionary life there. He did spend 13 years of his life in Uganda. He’s been living in Rwanda “only” seven years.


Naturally, Uncle knows what interests me, so he took me to Queen Elizabeth National Park straight away. And the first thing I saw was those crazy monkeys with “raggedy butts.” I gave a banana to one of them, and it was a signal for three more monkeys to start jumping on the car asking for food as well. Uncle solved it by fiercely honking his horn. They dropped their bananas. They are so funny, those baboons!

They hadn’t even managed to get very far away, when we spotted the wart hogs. I’ve heard that wart hogs have a very long memory……which doesn’t last more than six seconds. They are quite small, have a long mane, but they are also so ugly. Our domestic pigs are much prettier!

Driving further through the park, we ran into a... lion! Wooooooooow! When I talk about that in Bosnia no one will believe me! He sat on a big ant-hill. Uncle was trying to fool me into believing that the lion would attack and eat those wart hogs. I didn’t believe him, because I had seen some movies about lions myself, in which I had learned that lions hunt during the night, and during the day they are just resting.


After the lions, we almost crashed into an elephant. We approached him so closely that he spread his ears like sails on a ship and began to walk toward us. Did I say “walk”? He galloped toward us! It was the first time for me to see my uncle a bit worried. He pressed the throttle really hard, and we got away. When we stopped, he told me: “He almost made ground meat out of us!” I believed him, because they are gigantic animals weighing several tons.

One part of the visit to the national park takes place on a boat. From the boat we saw so many buffalos, hippos, crocodiles, elephants and birds...!!! My uncle tells me that there are more than six hundred different types of birds there, even the ugly marabou, whose gizzard hangs to the ground. I was surprised how the hippos... mmmm... fart. I came to this conclusion by the smell and the air bubbles that kept rising around them to the lake surface. Meanwhile, crocodiles were smearing themselves in mud, to mask themselves while they await their victims - the antelopes, who would take a little sip of water and immediately run to safer grounds.

birds and hippopotamus

After we got off the boat, Uncle wanted us to have a drink before we continued on our safari. I told him “OK, but only a quick shot!” So it was, and just half an hour later we were on our way. Next with our car we entered a large herd of impalas. Uncle explained to me that there is only one male among them. He says they’ve arranged their lives to be like that - only the strongest male can live with so many females. And he has to prove his strength very often against other males who are trying to take his place.

I was most excited to see the lionesses, which we saw just as our one-day trip was coming to an end. There were as many as nine of them in one group. And there they were - happily playing like kittens.

Uganda - Equatorboat

After the national park, Uncle took me to the place where a huge white ring marks the place that the Equator passes through. Uncle took photos of me, one foot on the northern, the other on the southern hemisphere.

After seeing the equator, we went on to where the nuns in Ruti and Rushooka have their convents. It was in Rushooka that my uncle founded the mission and spent eight years.

And, then, just when I was expecting more new stories about his love for Uganda, he just stood up and said: “It’s been enough! Let’s go home!"

And so, after several wonderful days in Uganda, I once again write to you from Rwanda.

Yours truly,

(To be continued...)

Translated by: fra Branimir Mlakić
Edited by: Valerie K. Ken

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