Monday, July 20, 2009

Conquering the Nile

This past weekend a group of medical students and pharmacy students traveled west into Uganda to go white water rafting down the Nile. It was an amazing trip. From what little I saw of it, Uganda seems like a very pretty country. The landscape is absolutely beautiful and local people we met while staying there were extremely good-natured. We traveled with 3 Kenyans that live/work here at the IU house and have been to Uganda many, many times, so they were able to show us around and introduce us to some of their friends that live there. It was a nice way to experience their culture in such a short stay.

As for the Nile River...what a sight to see!! Rafting was so much fun in so many ways. I had never been white water rafting before, so it was a great adventure. I learned that being thrown underwater by raging rapids can be fun as long as you have a life jacket to bring you back up in the end! Oh, and having a few crafty kayakers around to rescue you doesn't hurt either ;) When all was said and done, our raft flipped twice and multiple people were thrown from the boat while going through the rapids that didn't flip us. I managed to stay in the boat aside from getting flipped, and I think I was the only person who was able to do so. The rafting company put together a video of everyone's rafting experience at the end of the day, so I can't wait to show some highlights when I get back to the states.

Aside from the adventure, it was incredible to see the amount of Ugandans that were bathing and doing laundry along the banks of the river. It's a practice that is so common in places like Africa, and it's something that I love because it reminds me of how resourceful the people in third world countries are. Rafting down the Nile to a bunch of naked, cheering Ugandan children was definitely entertaining, and you have to admit, you'd never see that in the United States!

All in all, the trip to Uganda was a success. I'd definitely recommend white water rafting to the young at heart. It's a great thrill and makes for a fun weekend when surrounded by a good group of people. Now that it's over, I can proudly say that I conquered the Nile!

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