Christmas has come and passed. I saw apes. My aunt and brother came out! but really, we did see gorillas. we went trekking through the "impenetrable forest," jungle all around, thick, with no path, steep, muddy slopes, an unannounced humidity, and a guy named Sunday bushwhacking through the growth with a small machete. After an hour of this, we saw them. A family of five. Videos ad television do a good job at relaying their likeness, but being that close to them, just a few feet away, it was surreal. honestly, it didn't seem real. I mean, it didn't seem like these giant, docile, rare, beautiful creatures were real. either that, or it was i who wasn't real. I wasn't really there, i was still at home, watching this on the screen. Yet, I know we were there. When the silverback reached out his massive hand to tear down a tree and eat the leaves from the top, I could have almost leaned over and whispered in his ear, "Eat Neeko, it'll save the trees." But all I could do instead was stand there, smiling, and manage to take a few photos now and then (yes, i did get a photo of a certain younger brother flicking off some chimpanzees). But in all honesty, what magnificence. To look out through an opening in the canopy and see just vegetation, dense vegetation, all around, and then to realize that within this blanket of green, lived such massive and mysterious animals as the gorillas we were standing amidst...surreal. awe-invoking.
new years...i don't know how to explain. i met some other pc volunteers in a part of the country with beautiful waterfalls and peacefulness. i thought then, that the new years celebration would take on this form as well. Yet, as midnight came, i found myself embracing about 30 ugandans in a local house party or something like it. i actually know exactly how we ended up there, and there's only one man to blame. i wont forget.
though the celebration was loud, the new year has since been quiet. the students don't report until february and many of the teachers that live nearby have gone to their home villages. I since have realized that an African night can be brilliantly uncertain. The brilliance comes in with stars I've never seen and a sky that's governed by a depth I've never noticed. The uncertainty comes when I realize, some nights, that I really don't know what's out there in that darkness. The noises aren't of those I grew up with. Knowledge of what's just passed my sight is, perhaps, as unknown as the fact that there was a 300 lb gorilla in a tree above me that I never saw until her round, black body ambled ably down the trunk i stood by.
A Wee Dram O' Ruxpin Muggle
2 days ago