Today was a very important day for the Twinning Project: It was World Ranger Day and Steve Peach had given me the job of ensuring that some high quality photos of Ugandan rangers on duty were taken today. Anyone that knows me will know that I take responsibility very seriously, so I was determined to get it right.
We had been booked on the crater drive with a ranger called Robert and were due to meet him at 09.30. We made sure that we were up and ready on time to meet him. Like all Ugandan rangers, Robert was extremely friendly and knowledgeable. We found out that he was part of the mountain guides team at Rwenzori National Park along with Kulu, the old chief of security at QENP. Robert was the first Ugandan to climb the Italian Alps and was only moved to QENP when he discovered that he was diabetic.
I had been on the crater drive twice before and Mrs Green had been once, but Robert took us to places that we had never been including some crater lakes that were sulphurous in which injured water buffalo bathe to heal themselves. The craters were formed by volcanoes that exploded sideways about 10,000 years ago, which in geological terms is yesterday. Steve Peach’s daughter, Amy, is leading a group called Geomission Uganda to publicise geological tourism. This will involve a children’s book which pupils at Liss and Kafuro will be able to read. Appropriately, the ranger in the story is called Robert!
Henry was able to take some fantastic photos of Robert and Mrs Green (our own honorary ranger) together overlooking a crater lake. The views were absolutely spectacular. We took the best part of three hours soaking up the views and Robert’s wisdom before the tour ended and we bought Robert a well-earned drink.
As we headed back to Mweya, we saw a herd of elephants including babies and Henry managed to get a lot of great photos. We dropped Robert off at the visitor centre and headed home. On a trip like this there are a number of boring domestic tasks you need to complete, so Mrs Green did a load of washing while I updated blog posts (not boring) and Henry fiddled around with his camera. We did pop down to the jetty in the late afternoon to pass on a gift from Joe the ranger to Safari Ben, who looked after Joe when he was in Uganda.
In the evening we headed down to Tembo for dinner where we met Dickson, the tourism manager and arranged a meeting for tomorrow night. Tomorrow, we head out to Kafuro for the first time and you will read the report here.
Finally, thanks to Mrs Prior for her questions. Ugandans are indeed superstitious and here are two examples: if someone is leaning against a door and another person walks underneath their arm they should be worried that their growth will be stunted for the rest of their life.
Secondly, if your first born is a girl and the first person you meet in the morning when you leave your house is a boy, you will have bad luck for the rest of the day and visa versa. Yowasi said that many Ugandans will go home and start their journey again should they encounter such bad luck.