Safaris and Ugandan Weddings

Katie on safari

Uganda is pretty much all I dreamed it would be, and more. There are so many things to do here and people are always inviting me to experience new and exciting things.

This past Saturday, I was invited to a Ugandan wedding. I didn’t have to think twice before saying “yes” to the invitation! The wedding was scheduled to start at noon. If you aren’t aware, time in Africa is very different than time at home. Everything in Africa is slower; people in Uganda are far from rushed. We arrived at 11:55 knowing that the bride would most likely be a little late, so we sat in our seats and waited. Two hours later, the bride and groom arrived and the wedding finally began. It was an amazing celebration with singing and lots of dancing. At 4:00, we went to the reception where the bridesmaids, groomsmen, bride and groom entered the party with perfectly choreographed dance moves.

There was so much joy and excitement the whole time, and 75% of the people joined in the dancing—African dancing is the best! The party went on until about midnight. It was my kind of wedding! I am so lucky to have been given this very special opportunity.

Volunteer Rate Safari

The next morning, three other volunteers and I embarked on a seven hour trip to the border of the Congo to go on a safari! We were all very excited to be able to do this since safaris are usually very expensive. However, we found a company with a “volunteer rate” that allowed us to go for an incredibly low price. I suppose we should have been suspicious about why it cost less than half the price of an average safari.

All was well the first day when we arrived at Murchison Falls National Park. As soon as we entered the park we saw at least ten baboons, some monkeys, some water buffalos, it was amazing! At about 4:00 we started our first game drive. We saw every animal there was to see our first night at the park! We were excited to see how the rest of our journey would go.

Well–little did we know we would be sleeping in the “bush” of Uganda, miles away from civilization and miles away from any other muzungus (white people). As we drove toward our camp site that was 40 minutes away, almost every single person turned their head to see us, as if they had never seen a white person in their lives. When we arrived at the campsite, there was a small campfire and dinner, which consisted of rice and potatoes, was ready. That was not bad, but it turned out that the “volunteer rate” meant rice and potatoes for every single meal the entire weekend. The showers were outdoors and freezing and we had no power except one light.

We were the only guests at this camp in the middle of nowhere, run entirely by men we did not know. It was faith building! It was scary. But, we survived and had a wonderful time. You really never know what is going to happen here. Living in Africa for sure builds character and I love it!

Sometimes I feel like Jesus is laughing at some of the experiences He has given me here, because they are so ridiculous. Ridiculous but amazing. The things I have seen and the people I have met are changing my life daily.