Saturday, April 14, 2012

I believed I could fly

Getting away from site is easy. It's coming back from site that is the hardest. Especially with the last weekend. I went over to Jinja,Uganda with about 19 other volunteers. I knew it was going to be great, I just did not realize how awesome it would be. It's always good to get away and get together with some Peace Corps peeps.

I met up with some PCVs in Kisumu to make the trip over. I was traveling with a certain girl, E, who is my personal bad luck travel charm. Anytime I travel with her, things never work out. But it always makes for an interesting trip. The 5 hour trip to Jinja ended up taking about 8 hours. We finally get to Adrift and can finally chill out. Though due to an incident on the road I was a bit banged up and worse for wear. Nothing that Nile Special couldn't take care of. This beer is made with water from the Nile. Little did I know I would be drinking plenty of the Nile the next day. The beer tasted way better.

So on Saturday we rafted the Nile. Not floated, not canoed. We rafted the freakin' Nile. We met our guide Camo, whose name is not Camel despite the fact that my boat called him this for the first 15 minutes. I'm sure he loved us, despite the fact that he spent a good deal yelling at us to keep paddling (we would stop paddling anytime someone would talk, which was pretty much constant. Needless to say all of the other rafts went down the rapids five minutes before we even got to them.) Whether it was a passive-aggressive decision to kill us or he listened to our pleas to make this an epic trip, Camo agreed to take us on a Level 5 rapid. It was epic. Screw that it was EPIC!!!! We hit the first part of the rapid, I slam to the other side of the raft, taking out the girl who had previously been sitting there. The following are the three thoughts I had, in three seconds.

First thought: How am I still in the boat? (I might have had some curse words, but I'm keeping it PG)
Second thought: (I hear Camo state "Oh s**t she's in a bad place.") Hey there is Sarah!
Third thought: Oh crap (not real word), I'm about to die.

Well did not die, but I did fly. (Ha, rhymed) I am now under the rapids doing my best aquatic acrobatic routine. I had no idea which way was up. Finally I stop doing somersaults and let myself float up to the surface. I see no one, I see no boat. A second later I feel the boat when it hits my head. I duck back under water and let the boat pass me overhead. Camo comes, flips the boat and pulls me in. It took about 5 minutes for the kayakers to wrangle up the rest of my boat companions (we were scattered like dust in the wind).

It was awesome, while it was definitely scary it was the most fun I have ever had on the water (and in the water). The Nile is not the lazy river that people might think it is.

So Saturday did not kill me. So I decided to take it to the next level on Sunday. I bungee jumped, 45 meters above the Nile. I wasn't nervous before, but climbing the stairs and watching 5 others jump before me caused me to be as nervous as a loose woman in church. I get my ankles tied together am an told to bunny hop to a blue rope. After the blue rope they wanted me to scooch my feet to the edge of the platform, while not looking down. As an experiment go to a top step, close your eyes and scoot your feet to where your toes are sticking out. Without peeking, scary isn't it? Nothing about this is natural. The human body is not meant for this. I don't look down, at the suggestion of the british guy trying to push me off the platform. He asks me if I am ready. I say "No, give me a couple of seconds." Apparently he took this to mean that three seconds would suffice for me to collect my nerves. He counts down, and like Pavlov's dogs I have a natural reflex to someone counting down. Which is apparently to jump. This worries me that anytime someone counts down from three I will just jump. I don't really remember the initial jump, the only thought I had was "Wait, what? I just jumped? What was I thinking?" Coming back up I had time to realize what I had just done.

Later that day I went on an unofficial booze cruise down to the mouth of the Nile, where it meets Lake Victoria. I say unofficial booze cruise because this is what we called it, not what Gavin (who managed Adrift) called it. Once I get to Kisumu I will try to upload the video of my jumpint

It was awesome! A great weekend, with great people. Sadly it had to end, though not for my bank account. So contributions to my bank account is always welcomed.

Getting back to work has been hard. I am setting up a World Malaria Day in my community. While it definitely has been time consuming, it has been worth it so far. For those of you not aware, Malaria is a huge killer in Africa. 90% of all Malaria deaths occur in Africa. I will be doing a whole blog about this later this week.