Barrel of Monkeys

Trip Start Jun 02, 2008
Trip End Jun 09, 2009

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Flag of Uganda  ,
Monday, July 21, 2008

A grandmother bends double.  Using a short broom, she sweeps her pristine dirt yard.  Her portable radio hangs in a solitary small tree nearby.

The sun streams through the rustling banana leaves and charcoal smoke hanging in the air.  A woman sings a simple song while she works from inside her mud brick, tin-roofed house.

An old man mows the lawn in a ditch with the swing of his pitching wedge-shaped blade.  His small grandson hacks just as expertly at a piece of sugar cane to get to the juiciest, sweetest parts.

These are just a few impressions of the past few days, during which we have been hanging out on the rim of Nkuruba Lake, one of 82 crater lakes in Western Uganda.  The campsite where we are staying helps to fund an adjacent orphanage and medical clinic.  We have taken a couple of day trips with local guides, Julius and Livingstone.  The first was a hike through nearby villages to Mahoma Waterfall and the second a bike ride to Finlay's tea plantation and processing plant.

The lake is home to families of black and white Colobus monkeys and playful Vervet monkeys.  On our first descent to the lake, we were greeted by a troup of the latter.  Some of them were very interested in what we might have to offer.  Others could only stop play fighting long enough to give us brief glances.  One, perhaps the drum major of the group, tried his best to impress us with all the twirling and throwing tricks he could do with a twig.
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