Sunday, June 20, 2010
Sunday, June 20th
This weekend we travelled to Sipi Falls, near Mt. Elgon. We left around 7:30am on Saturday morning and after a boda boda ride and two matatus later we arrived at the Crow’s Nest (hostel like accommodations started by a peace corps volunteer) around 1:30pm…it was a crazy ride and very uncomfortable. However, the view and the hiking was worth the trip. We had lunch when we arrived and then hiked around to the top most waterfall and continued down to the second highest when we suddenly found ourselves in an absolute downpour! We speed walked back to the hostel and were soaked! Fortunately, we had a hot shower and even though I didn’t have super dry clothes to put on…the hot chocolate made up for it.
The waterfalls come from a spring up on Mt. Elgon, which I believe is the highest volcano in Africa at maybe some 14,000ft? don’t quote me on that. Anyway, the people in Sipi live and farm on the hillsides and it is incredible. The beauty is awe-inspiring. It is lush and green, and the views astonishing.
The waterfalls are extremely powerful and people collect water, bathe, and do laundry in the streams between the falls. I went hiking again on Sunday morning (you have to have a guide to navigate you through the small paths hidden by tall crops such as corn and matooke. There were also eucalyptus trees and cabbage. One of my favorite photos is from the top most waterfall where the light hit the spray to create a rainbow…just beautiful. My second favorite is probably the bee in flight…the insects here are HUGE! On Sunday, I also went a little way into a cave on the hillside where we saw a few crystals…not many and then I saw a bat fly by and said, I’m out of here!
This week we have our first large sensitization on sanitation and safe water. I’m excited to see the turnout and be able to start distributing WaterGuard (chlorination purifier) to the village members. I also met with Nurse Nalwoga at the health center on Friday of last week to talk about my Nutrition sensitization and she like my ideas. I figured we would have a large meeting and then find 3 or so women who have a keen interest in nutrition to train even further. We would then have them lead smaller group sensitizations within their area of the village on how to have a balanced diet, make baby food, nutrition for pregnant women, etc. I hope that it works out although…you never know here in Africa. There is no rush and rarely efficiency…so we’ll see!