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via IFTTT This was supposed to post on Wed the 15th, but we lost internet in the afternoon into the evening…
The simplest post to make today is: I don’t want to leave. Tomorrow is our last day in country and will mostly be spent in transit.
We woke up this morning to no power. Apparently a transformer or something blew about 1:20am. This was entirely manageable (I didn’t even really notice) until we got to The Keep for coffee. The Keep is HFC’s cafe/restaurant where we’ve had most of our meals which typically makes excellent brew and has great food including a solid bagel and outstanding tomato soup.
Those of you who know me well know that morning coffee is a deal-breaker. There was some emergency lighting on and the kitchen (gas) was operational but the Keep’s super-duper espresso machine and grinder were out of commission with the fluxy power.
I was running through my emergency backup procedure options (Via packets, caffeine pills, worth going back to the house for my spare grounds) when our hostess said “oh, but we can still do iced.” It seemed rather comical that with power out we could have iced coffee but not hot, but so it goes here. I’m typically not a cold-coffee drinker but I’d found on a hot afternoon it can indeed hit the spot here and I was not in a position to be choosy so we ordered iced and a few minutes later any brewing mischief on my end was managed.
As I sipped my iced-coffee — complete with coffee-ice cubes — and snapped the pic of my companion’s iced mocha, I reflected on something Johnny said on Monday about their intentions for The Keep: “It is supposed to be an oasis. You can see after this morning [when we visited a dire neighborhood and school] why it is so needed here. A place for aide workers and others to come and have a good meal and relax and recharge.”
Yes, I very much see why it is desirable and even needed here. A place that can be counted on to be clean, with competent and friendly staff, who will find a way to take care of you while you relax and get ready to face the day. It is indeed a refuge and oasis and it will be missed.
On this, on our last full day in Jinja, after coffee and solid breakfast we drove a few miles to rent ATVs (another first for me) and got thoroughly dusty as we were guided along the back roads of surrounding areas. It was a blast and I was happy to see a little more rural areas. That trip (with GoPro screen grabs) will be more posts in the future.
Then we returned again to The Keep for a hearty lunch and (thankfully) power before we came back to base camp for showers and misc computer stuff. We were interrupted by the security guard announcing that the batman from Mbale was here. So we all traipsed out to the backyard to watch a shirtless dude use a slingshot to take out bats. Yep, read that again. It happened.
The deal is he gets access to the property in exchange for keeping his kills (to be eaten or sold to be eaten). He uses a handmade slingshot of some sort of stub and bright red medical tubing, along with hand rolled balls of termite-mound mud and watching him in action was pretty incredible. In about a half hour he took easily 20. He was out there for much longer than our interest lasted — actually he is apparently still going. Expect a post (with footage) on that too.
So here I sit as we gear up for a dinner cooked over a bonfire — I don’t believe bat is on the menu — and I know I don’t wish to leave tomorrow. I believe I will be back, I have every intention of making it so, but I just don’t want to leave the Keep and Jinja House and all the stories and sights remaining here to be discovered. I am concentrating on enjoying the remaining time and being thankful for it all.