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The sound of wind at night is a kind-of alarm clock in Murchison Falls. Wind on its own is okay, and rain on its own is fine. But the two factors together mean one thing: get out of bed and batten down the hatches. Initially, we both always wait and silently gauge the weather. There is never any disagreement; weather changes are usually too dramatic to miss. We both grab the two small flashlights that we keep next to the bed and slip on our flip-flops.
He runs for the door and the car windows, while I always head straight for the laptop and shortwave radio. We clear the verandah of papers and electronics, and then head for the bedding. One of us gathers the pillows, sheets, and blankets. The other lifts the light foam mattress off of the frame and drags it into the house. We both run around the house then and check for things near windows, or open windows by piles of clothing or books, and then crawl together into the only remaining bed that is not on the verandah: a single bed with a mosquito net frame so massive that the bed cannot be moved.
The night continues but for me, there is not much sleeping. The thunder, wind, and discomfort of being crammed into the corner of a small bed makes sleep challenging.
If the rain continues, the electricity will be late, as the man who has to start the generator is also watching the rain and thinking how unappealing a walk in it might be. The first time we had a midnight move, I was confused and watching while H.
What was he doing with my laptop? Where was he going with that mattress? The second time, we were bush camping, along with one ranger, H. Ivo had brought along a spectacular spread of food, which he and Hannah cooked over an open fire. Ivo and Hannah had set up the tents and the campsite. The tents were staked, but there were no flies covers. We went out a short distance in the cars. Down the road were some hippos, and directly behind them was a pride of ten adult lions and countless small cubs.
The boss lion, an old male named Abraham by the rangers, tolerated us for a while as Hannah trained the spotlight on him. Finally, he seemed annoyed and turned his back to us. We returned to camp and crawled into our tents. The other three shared Ivo's larger tent. A more superstitious person might blame those who believed it would not rain for the drops that started at 2 a.
We often have these language misunderstandings.
I crawled back in the tent and collapsed back into my sleep-sheet. It had started to pour by the time they figured out how to put the cover over the tent. The ranger was already asleep in H. He was ready at when the wind buffeted our little tent as if we were atop a mountain. I fought the urge to wake up—really, I did—but finally I had to admit that my hastily assembled fly might not hold.
Also, the wet side of Single Murchison motorcycle male wanted tent was caving in on me as the wind pushed it. Then, the fly blew off. The rain started spraying in while under the weight of the gusts, my half of the tent clung to me. We could see very little as our flashlights were somewhere on the wet floor. I was still in my nightshirt but had managed to get my pants on under it. He unzipped the door and we jumped out. We hastily pulled the poles down and sprinted for the pick-up, leaving the tent flat and staked to the ground.
We were both soaked. The ranger, cozily curled up in the backseat with his gun and our blanket, was awakened by our laughter and slamming of doors. Are you wet? I've been in Murchison Falls National Park for a few days now, but getting here was, as always, a bit of an endeavor. I found myself viewing-but not desiring-cheap watches, flip-flops, socks, cookies, pens, and charred meat-on-a-stick.
As a foreigner, I was spared the brunt of the onslaught, but water sellers and newspaper boys eagerly flashed their wares at me. Minibuses, like nearly all public transport in East Africa, leave "when full. We all buckled our seatbelts and began the 3-hour journey. Herr Marlboro was picking me up in Masindi since he had to be there anyway to pick up cement and a 3-meter plastic pipe. But we usually manage to coordinate my arrivals and departures. On my last trip, I left unexpectedly after becoming frustrated with trying to work at H. Murchison Falls is a tourist destination and lots of people come to visit.
I'd found my workspace crawling with pleasant visitors and had fled to Kampala to get some work done. I had traveled with the security warden and a driver. In addition, there were assorted park workers looking for a lift, including one with a pedal-operated Singer sewing machine. But the primary purpose of the voyage was not to transport H. M's Madame or a broken sewing machine. We carried six poachers and a ranger with a semi-automatic rifle. The poachers were going to jail in Masindi, where they would be probably be forced to work for days depending on their sentences.
We left Paraa the park headquarters as well as the site of H. I was lucky enough to be inside the cab. I knew this already. No transport goes empty to Masindi, and H. The Daily Monitor is one of two legitimate Ugandan newspapers.
The third, Red Pepper, is an entertaining tabloid that just makes up stories when it lacks interesting headlines. Eventually, we got to the Masindi-region-maintained stretch of dirt road that was shaped like an upside-down V. This is scary to drive when it's dry, but downright perilous when wet.
It had rained the night before. The driver crawled along slowly, passing by a bogged tourist mini-van with an anxious driver. We stopped as soon as we got off the dangerous part of the road, and the driver and warden got out.
They motioned for all the men on the back to follow the sewing machine stayed on-board. The guard motioned the poachers down as well. There were two what is the Single Murchison motorcycle male wanted word? The sight of a dozen Africans-including six in rags and one with an AKdescending on the mini-van was too much for the tourists.
They wound up the windows, locked the doors, and refused to move. The warden and the driver directed, while the rest got to work. The soldier also sat aside, keeping alert in case the poachers decided that now was the time to disappear into the bush. The poachers did not even try. Digging a tourist mini-van out of the mud at gunpoint seemed a sensible alternative to being shot in the back for fishing in the wrong park of the lake.
The poachers and the park workers dug and pushed, while the mini-van driver pushed the accelerator. This resulted only in spinning wheels and a deeper rut. There was a break while the Ugandans considered the situation. Someone said something, and everyone gathered brush to throw under the tires. This helped a little, but the mini-van still refused to budge.
People sighed, rested a minute, then started pushing and digging. All of the men-except the warden and the guard-leaned on the mini-van. It nearly moved but then sank back into the mud. Now I could see the warden leaning into the van's window, talking to the tourists. And they finally emerged in all their heavy glory. It was quite a contrast to see the large white couple against a backdrop of skinny, sweating African men, all working for the betterment of the tourists and receiving only fear as thanks.
The Single Murchison motorcycle male wanted and poachers pushed again, in unison, and finally, the little mini-van's wheels gripped the mud and the van slid back onto the road. The poachers and guard and workers and man needing a newspaper climbed back onto the pick-up truck. The guard nudged the poachers back into their submissive squats in the middle. The driver started the engine, and we continued to Masindi, where I caught the mini-bus to Kampala and comic-book productivity.
It was my first day back in Kampala after two weeks of beef-eating in Murchison Falls. How are you? I looked up to see if I was being addressed. A young Ugandan woman had sat down across from me. Can you speak up? I just wanted to eat. For a moment, I thought she was the realtor who had shown me around on my third day in Kampala.
I greeted her warmly. The realtor was named Lynn, I remembered. This encouragement was all she needed. I pondered this without responding. Where are you from? Do you live in Kampala? I have been here my whole life.Single Murchison motorcycle male wanted
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