Not all those who wander are lost - but I'll be disappointed if I don't get lost frequently!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Lake Bunyoni

Each Oasis Overland truck crew supports a different charity or organisation. Jozi's crew supports an orphanage and school at Lake Bunyoni, so everyone elected to accompany the crew to the orphanage for a day, to deliver donated items and see what is being achieved there. Edison is the director of the school and orphanage, and the community and volunteers run everything themselves without the help of NGOs or charities, as they want to maintain control over their own community.

A trio of minibuses rolled up in the morning to take us to Lake Bunyoni (the road up and over the mountain to the lake is too narrow for Jozi). Vicki, Jodie, Dave, Amy, Tom and John and myself hopped into one minibus, and to our delight discovered that it was hooked up to an awesome sound system and tunage! We had Rihanna (We Found Love), Gym Class Heroes (Stereolove) and some LMFAO (Sexy and I Know It). We christened it the Party Bus and had a little dance party on the drive up.

We arrived at the lake and hopped into boats which ferried us across the lake. From here we had to climb up a huge hill to get to the school. The climb was way higher and harder than the gorilla trek! Some of the guys were also lugging up huge bags full of donated items too.

We inspected the huts that are being built for volunteers to live in while they're at the school. The kids were at their lessons when we arrived, and the volunteers gave a quick speech about the place, and then thanked Oasis, especially Iain (the truck driver) and Malcolm for their support. In recognition of their support, they each planted an avocado tree at the school. They also had some trees for the rest of us to plant, so now I can say there is a tree I planted growing at the orphanage overlooking Lake Bunyoni. While each person was planting their tree, the kids chanted "Sammy, Sammy, you are so good. I love you, I love you are nice!"

It started to rain, so the kids split up into two groups and went into their classrooms, which are in a mud brick building (bricks that are made by hand, on site) with a bare earth floor and a blackboard. Very basic stuff. The younger group of kids only had three desks for their classroom, the older kids had more but still not enough. It's times like these travelling through Africa which really make you appreciate what we have in Australia.

It seems that the kids do a lot of their learning through singing and repetition. They were learning the English words for various parts of the body by singing about it and touching that part in a dance. They did a similar thing for the alphabet - the teacher would say a letter (for example 'S') and the kids would star jump and clap each letter then stop when they got to S.

After this we went to Director Edison's house for a scrumptious lunch of curried crayfish, before heading back down the hill to the lake. There were a few tumbles as people lost their footing and fell. The boats picked us up again and took us to the Overland Camp for a swim. They had a platform about 10m up a tree over the lake, and several people were brave enough to jump off.

The party bus was back to pick us up, and the same group hopped in for a disco descent from the mountain. The party mood continued once we got back to camp, with a quick game of cricket in the twilight, followed up by a game of Flip Cup before dinner (my team lost, 2 games to 3). Needless to say, 5 rounds of flip cup got the evening started nicely. A Beer Pong tournament followed dinner, and Jules and I lost to Tom and Ed, who were the eventual tournament champions.

The night descended into madness, with lots of drinks, smashes bottles and a few injuries. I snuck off to bed at some point, guzzles a litre of water and was very thankful to wake up feeling only mildly seedy. Others weren't so lucky!

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