Saturday, July 19, 2008

Uganda gives me hope for Zimbabwe

I wrote this in Uganda and just posting this now, will post stuff on Tanzania and Kilimanjaro in a few days...

* So the Apple Pie reference in Zimbabwe was because I was getting Apple Pie for desert. The food portions were not enough for me, for several reasons... So I didn’t need another full entree but I needed more food. So I usually ordered dessert and no matter where I went, they had a list of deserts of which they only had Apple Pie with Ice Cream. So I had a lot of Apple Pie in Zimbabwe.

* Uganda has recovered so much from the days of Idi Amin and his successive dictators who looted and destroyed this country and it’s people. Today Uganda is full of hope. I see roadside stalls selling food, cellphone minutes, cloths and other trinkets. I see people out late at night drinking with friends and family. I see smiles and not flies on kids faces. I see joy and contentment in the people as we drive by. This gives me hope for the rest of Africa. If Uganda can come back from Idi Amin, imagine Zimbabwe in 10-15 years! I hope that when I return to Zimbabwe, and I will return, in a few years I will notice a considerable change.

* One thing I never thought I’d ever do was white water kayaking the Nile. I figured if I learned to white water Kayak, it would be some place closer to home like Great Falls or New River Gorge. No, the first white water kayak experience I get is in the Nile in Uganda. It was an awesome experience, though I did spend as much time under and out of the boat as I did in it...

* We arrived in Sipi Falls during a power failure. As I’m writing this blog, it’s the only power I’ve seen in this region in the past 48 hours. Every outlet in this lodge is plugged in and every piece of electronic equipment is being charged. Crazy how dependent on power we are. Can’t say I was suffering the past few days, but definitely a bit anxious and worrying whether I’d be able to charge my camera, my GPS and my laptop. And now we are out of power.... Back, 30 minutes later we are power again and there now another mad dash to re-plug everything back in.

* We managed to find some short bolted routes in Sipi Falls. Dave decided to take the first climb. All geared up and ready to go, half way up the climb he got stung by a wasp. Now, those who know Dave, Dave is allergic to bee stings. So he immediately took some Benadryl and we kept an eye on his swelling. After a few hours of climbing we returned to the lodge for Dave to call Marty. Dave asked about the max dosage for Benadryl he could take and took it. The problem was it as all the Benadryl Dave, Kim and I had. So we had to look for more anti-histamines. Now the good news was the Benadryl stopped the swelling from creeping up Dave’s arm and at times even decreased the swelling. However, we still needed Benadryl in case the swelling came back up. As you can imagine, you can not get Benadryl in Uganda, so we had to find another anti-histamine. The first clinic gave Dave pain meds, the second clinic/hospital required prescription and there was a massive line for the doctor. So we decided to hit the roadside pharmacies. Showing them our empty Benadryl containers we asked for ant-histamine and allergy medication. All the answers were we don’t have that until, we hid the Benadryl containers from view and simply asked ‘What do you have for allergy meds?’. This question bought out two possible pieces of medication of which only one had an indication sheet. We purchased extra tablets and again made a phone consultation with a Doc back in the states. Dave as of writing this blog is still alive. Doctor says if it doesn’t kill you in the first 90 minutes, you are usually fine.

Dave is fine now, we are in Tanzania.

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