Getting pissed with the Pygmies

Trip Start Jul 24, 2012
Trip End Aug 19, 2012

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

(Andrew) Well after last nights exploits the lie in was good and I got up first at about 08:15 to make breako for the group with Kanyo. He had already had a call from the other guide and was asking me about what I knew about last night, I think in all honesty he wasn't as angry as he could have been as it was more retaliation rather than increasing what had happened. None the less you do realise on the age difference between myself and the group median of about 24 (I am 10 years above this, perhaps the older you get the more of an easy life you are prepared to take) perhaps I’m old or plain simply have become boring. None the less last nights annoyance had subsided and I now found the whole situation funny with me being fingered as the perpetrator.

We had a free morning so went for a walk around town with the Lady, firstly the market was full of stalls and shouting traders laughing and shouting at us, kids follow you to negotiate on your behalf for a % of the savings, we opted not to top up at the market and after watching the butcher in action can see why we may not have had a tip top stomach since we arrived. We got back and uploaded photos and a few more blogs on the wifi whilst we still had it.  Today we were to visit a traditional Batwa village, or made better known as Pygmy Village – these people are part of the Twa tribe which is the smallest tribe in East Africa.  We were to be joined on this trip – which hadn’t really been sold to us by the guide – apparently the last time a group had been to visit they had had a great time but the time before someone had been spit on.  Well, I have to say if I got spit on it would probably be the highlight of my trip!  We were in!

We were to be joined on this excursion by Ariel and Jill – everyone else from the truck had been put off by the great sales patter.  We waited in the bar until our 2pm departure only to be told that there was a one hour delay – we had some chips and a coke in the meantime (it’s all we feel we can eat what with the diahorrea situation).  We killed more time and then our driver arrived – who didn’t speak English but he had an interpreter with him who was a student.  We were on our way and it only took us about 30 minutes to arrive at the village down a long dusty road.  We had the most fantastic welcome with all the children running up to the van to greet us and then all of a sudden the roundhouse in the middle of the village burst into song and we made our way down to find everyone from the village dancing and singing.  We went inside and were invited to dance with everyone and sing and clap along with the music – the beat being set by a woman with a stick and a petrol can.

What unfolded was some incredibly energetic dancing with the main guy actually changing his clothes three times – from a blue t-shirt, to a pink shell suit jacket, to an orange t-shirt.  I complimented him on the shell suit of course.  We were shown around the village by the head woman who showed us the houses that the villagers live in – they were made with branches and they contained a fire and some beds – the beds unrecognisable as they were just spaces on the dirt floor with no bedclothes or anything.  The oldest man had a larger house but it housed himself, his son and his wife and the rest of his children.  There was a small partition for his son and his wife – little privacy.  What was very interesting was that despite being 'forest people’ they owned no animals only rabbits which they kept in raised hutches to eat and sell at market.

We went back to the roundhouse and were invited to share some of the banana beer that the driver had provided.  It was brought in a petrol can and poured in to large tin cups that we all shared.  Despite his early protests, Ariel – not being able to drink cold liquids, was surprised to find it luke warm so set about it with earnest.  The rest of us sipped politely holding back the grimace.  Another brew was then passed around which looked a bit like liquidised rabbit bedding – this we tried too only to develop a severe liking for the banana variety.  Everyone including the children were getting increasingly merry and they asked us to introduce ourselves and tell everyone where we were from.  Everyone got a cheer but when I revealed that I was Andrew’s wife one of the women literally ran for me to shake my hand.  We thanked everyone for their hospitality and they invited us to join them for a thank you dance.  We were all up dancing with different members of the community and we could barely see as there was so much dust being kicked up from the earth floor.

Jill noticed a tiny baby, only weeks old, that was strapped to the back of a boy who was about 3.  She asked if she could hold him for a picture which the small boy agreed to – then Ariel decided he would like to do the same and asked me to take the picture.  All was well until seconds later when the baby decided to wee all over Ariel’s brand new trousers – my god the worst we had been warned about was being spat on – but being pissed on took it to a whole new level.

On the way back home Ariel revealed that he was so drunk that he couldn’t feel his own hands and then we all started to think we were hallucinating as lots of strange things started to happen on the way.  Andrew was approached in a field by a man demanding to know where Amir was (it turned out he wanted his email), we saw a man drive directly from the road in to a drainage channel causing untold damage to his 4x4 and we stopped in a village only to be surrounded by locals just staring through the glass at us in a very unnerving way.  Just what was in that banana brew we wondered?

No sooner were we back at the hostel regaling everyone with our amazing trip than we all met up to go out for dinner to a pizza restaurant that Reto had found on his GPS app.  The restaurant was lovely and everyone had pizza or pasta which was delicious.  Andrew got carried away on the beer and ended up walking back in a bit of a state jumping over drainage channels in his flip flops – it was an accident waiting to happen.  Back at the hostel Reto and Heather started to make ‘smores’ a Canadian speciality of toasted marshmallows with chocolate in between two biscuits.  They were lovely and it was a nice send off for Robyn who is the first to sadly leave the group tomorrow.   After last night’s shenanigans we were all early to bed preparing for our 4.30am start in the morning…oh the joys of travelling overland!
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