Friday, July 31, 2009

My trip to Raji Island- June 18, 2009

I have more pics posted of this trip on my Facebook:

Little Pricilla and Me
Esther and Me- I love this girl
The school they run has about 175 students and 40 of them are orphans. These 4 orphans are taken care of by Esther and Sylvester. iwould write their names but can't pronounce or spell them. Fish is a major part of their diet on the island and this is what they are eating.
Another specatular view from the top
Where else wold you wash your boda boda except for in Lake Victoria?

This was the black bull that charged us
This bull was curious about me
The view from the top of the island
Some of the elementary kids

June 18, 2009
I am continuing to try to catch up on my journaling since I have been sick for so many weeks.
Last night I found out Shelly and Brian were going to the island to check on one of the UCOM schools and I sort of invited myself. I had wanted to got the island last year but did not get to. They joyfully agreed and so we decided to meet the next morning at 6:30am
The driver came and got the van and then left me. We called Shelly and they returned to pick me up. I went alone as this was not a trip for kids and so Maggie stayed behind to help with them. Pastor Sylvester accompanied us back to the island. He and his wife Esther live there. As I had nothing to do now but wait for Andrew and Allenni’s passports and the I-600a renewal process, I thought this would be a great way to spend a day. We headed out on an almost 3 hour drive through villages and mostly unpaved roads and arrived at Lake Victoria to board our hired out fiberglass canoe with a motor. We piled in with our bags, cameras and cooler and set out on our way. It was a pleasant 2 hour trip through the water to Raji (sp?) Island. We passed the time chatting about various things and before we knew it, we had arrived at the island. At the base of the lake was a little fishing village. We docked there and got out. In front of us loomed a very big hill and the closer it got, the more steep it appeared. Now if you know me, you know that I do not like hiking up steep hills, but then again, maybe if you know me you don’t know that. My husband didn’t know til this year! And we have been married 17 years. I have been hiking with him many times only because I love him so much! Well, my suspicions were correct when I saw Slyvester heading for the mini mountain. He did not live in this fishing village. He lived on the other side of the island. Mentally psyching myself up, I followed after. Now Sylvester just scurried up this mini mountain like it was no big deal, but this Muzugu was having to stop every 5 minutes and take in the scenery and deep breaths. Brian made me feel better, telling me that I was ok, Lake Victoria was around 1000ft above sea level and we were even higher on this mountain and so the air was thinner. Yeah, that was a good excuse! Better than the reality of being out of shape!
I got a few smiles from a few Villagers who passed us on the way up and disappeared out of site as they crossed over to the other side.
Finally we crested the hill to a beautiful sight. The land plateaued and the view of the water from the top was gorgeous. We proceeded to the school run by UCOM and met the headmaster. While Shelly met with her about business, Brian and I toured the rest of the surrounding area. I visited the school and talked with the kids who were not being instructed at the moment. I also met the two bulls and got charged by one. I was skidaddling out of there pretty quickly. Thanking God he was on a rope. I don’t think this black bull liked white people, because he charged Shelly and Brian as well when they went by. I then went and visited with Esther and her baby Pricilla. Pricilla had been born while I was here last year and Duane and I had stayed in Scott and Brenda’s house with Sylvester and Esther for about a week and had gotten to know them a little. It was good to see Esther and Pricilla who was now a little over a year old. Esther is one of the most encouraging and godly women I have ever met. She has such a sweet spirit.
After a while, Shelly and Brian appeared and we had our lunch, sharing Tuna and apples with John our driver who had never had such foods before.
We then headed back to the other side of the island to take our canoe back home. The decent down the mountain was not near as bad the one we had taken up. It was a little more cautious as it was rocky, but not near as draining physically. By this time, the sun had risen and the glare off of the water made it seemed brighter. Thus, we arrived back to the main land 2 hours later, with a good sunburn. I totally enjoyed this day and was glad I had decided to go.

The fishing village as you approach the island
getting fueled up to go to the island
Me and Brian
The lizard that hitched a ride on my foot
Enjoying the ride

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