Saturday, December 17, 2016

Murchison Falls Day 4 & 5

So Thursday came and we decided to do something crazy!  We have (Well, Rick more than me) wanted to take a hot air balloon ride for a long time now.  We tried once in Albuquerque, NM and then just this last September we tried to do one in Park City.  Both times the weather was bad so the trip was cancelled last minute.  I guess the third time is the charm because this time it worked!
We actually had been going back and forth since we arrived at the lodge not knowing if we should do it or not.  We are missionaries and it seems like a pretty risky thing to do....but after talking with one of the guides we both felt more comfortable and decided to do it!

It actually turned out to be quite enjoyable!  We flew for about an hour and were able to see cape buffalo herds, Kob, Olibi, and warthogs.  It was fun because the noise of the of the balloon's torch would scare up the animals and they would take off below us on a dead run.  We could watch them form the air and that was really cool!  Twice the torch scared warthogs out of their holes and they started grunting and squealing while running for dear life.  That made us laugh because we knew they were in no danger.....but THEY didn't know it!    Here are some sights of our balloon adventure.

We left early from the hotel (5:15) and so we were able to get a great shot of the moon.

As well as the sunrise!

After filling the balloon with lots of cold air (which took about 20 minutes) then they add the hot air and that is what makes the balloon rise.

                          Here's the inside of our balloon while we are standing in the basket!

Sunrise over the Savannah

Me looking for a luck:(

                                  After our hour ride we touched down safely on the ground.

                    Our pilot is the one standing between me and Rick.  He is from Egypt.

After our flight our guide drove us via jeep to our "bush breakfast".  This was a fun experience!  It was located up a ways from the Nile and we had a very nice view of the river.  We pulled up to a full service buffet that seriously could have served 15 people and it was all for us!!  They even had a chef available to make us omelets....which of course we had.  It was quite romantic actually with our nice tableware and goblets.  While our omelets were being served we watched the hippos in the water and took videos of the baboons running around the campground.  There was an armed guard to protect us from any rogue animals (which we did not encounter....we were perfectly safe).  The food was delicious with sausage, bacon, hash brown potatoes, beans, grilled tomatoes, and pancakes.  They also had cold cereal, a wonderful variety of breads, and local fruits!  They served watermelon and passion fruit juice to drink.  

What a fun memory we made to look back on for years to come!

After getting back to the hotel I went for a massage and then took a nice nap.  We also spent time in the pool with some others of our group.  Doesn't Rick look awesome in his hat??

That evening we took another game drive.  Look who's lurking behind Rick.  We were at the guard station picking up our guide and this huge elephant comes bounding through the trees right onto the road.  It was incredible!  We were so close and he was just loving munching down on the trees not minding too much that we were gawking at him!

It was another wonderful night on the African Savannah.  We looked and looked for a big cat but could never find one.  At one point we stopped to look at some Cape Buffalo and we heard a very faint Lion roar in the distance.  Twice actually.  At first I wasn't for sure that's what I heard until President Collings confirmed that he heard it too.  That was exciting!  Even though we didn't see one we did get to hear one.  We stayed out a little later this night than on previous nights and were able to spot a jackel, a hyena, and a mongoose.  Those were all new sightings for us!

On Friday we packed up and drove an hour and a half to Chobe lodge for our last night's stay.  It was a very nice lodge situated very close to the river.  We did not do much here but relax.  This was a very nice hotel and we enjoyed it very much.

                                                                    Our room.......

                                                               My lunch.....yum! (Chicken fried rice)

                                                  Dessert =(fruit tart with mango ice cream)

                                      This hotel had three tiered pools and a beautiful view!

That night we were able to meet as Senior couples talk about the Savior's birth.  We read in Luke 2 and shared our thoughts about the verses being read.  Afterwards we had a time to share testimonies which was really special and then a white elephant gift exchange.  In these posts I have not said much about the other couple missionaries.  They are all really excellent people and it was wonderful having the time to get to know them and their stories.  It's amazing how much you can learn from other people's lives.  I enjoyed talking about grandkids, children who have strayed, service in the church, and travels around the world.  These are only a few of the topics that we talked about during the week.  I love how they each are so willing to give of their time to serve the Lord on their mission. It's not easy living in Africa and these missionaries are quite a bit older than Rick and I but I did not hear any complaining.  In fact, just the opposite.  They are all having a wonderful experience!  We all recognize the blessing of being missionaries in the Uganda Kampala Mission.  We are all having wonderful experiences and learning a lot.

Thanks to President and sSster Collings for making this retreat possible!

No comments:

Post a Comment