Our first night we were taken to the Isamilo Lodge to watch the sunset over Lake Victoria, meet some of the new staff and have a curry. Those of you that know me and my eating habits will know that I’m more of a Chinese person, but I have now discovered Paneer and the Beef Sizzler which are both going to have to be eaten more regularly.
I had three glasses of white wine – considering it was a boxed wine it was really rather nice – and realised I was a bit pissed and very sensibly decided not to write in my new diary. All I managed was ‘I have arrived in Mwanza’ before deciding that the combination of drunkeness, fountain pen, hand made paper and a mosquito net wasn’t really the way forward I wanted to take.
The next day we were taken on a tour of the school and to a few local shops to get essentials, like galaxy chocolate to put in the freezer. I made a fish stew for the new French teacher because it was his 40th birthday and he was missing his family.
Our biggest adventure that week was a 10ish km hike up to dancing rocks. They are so called because legend has it that they dance around at night causing large craters on the top of the hill. There were many brightly coloured lizards all over the rocks and spindly goats making death defying climbs up the steep hills. The view over the lake is spectacular and I got some good photos of the others as they were relaxing and enjoying the view….
Unfortunately, I’m not great with heat, or the sun, so was offered an umbrella to shade myself and avoid sunstroke. As a result of this, all pictures of me on this walk are banned from public view – I can best describe my appearance as a slightly melty raspberry ripple in combat trousers under a grey umbrella. If any of you want to try and illustrate this yourselves and send it in to me, please feel free…
The walk down was an interesting one, much steeper than the way we came I managed to get my foot wedged under a rock. As we were discussing freeing me a la 128 hours, the boys lifted the rock, leaving me able to continue my stumbling descent. More goats, chickens and little villages greeted us as we ambled back towards the town. One lady was outside her house cooking potato samosas which went down very well with most of the group.
As we walked closer to the town we reached scenes that are recognisable from documentaries at home – groups of children running towards us, wanting their pictures taken and delighted when shown their own images on the tiny screens. Women carrying bundles and baskets with varying contents on their heads. To the left up a hill another group of women were singing and dancing behind a screen and I desperately wanted to join in.