september2013 travel blog



6:30am routine for the gorilla trekking...hoping for a shorter walk today??? You never know. Our jeep got stuck on our way to meet the trackers as it had rained heavily for the past three hours. So we walked to our porters and guides. We walked for about 20 minutes to the National park stone wall and along the way saw the huts they use for their midday break and wooden beehives and the bee keepers. Farmers fields and curious children greeted us. We saw how they burn/dry the eucalyptus for 2 weeks to make coal. Today we were going to see the Hirwa (lucky) troup. which has 19 members. It has a set of twins which is very unusual and a month and a half old baby. The silverback is the largest of all the troups and he is unique because he broke away from the Sousa group and started his own by collecting females from other troups.

We walked for another half hour up and down some very steep spots..hurray for the porters. We reached our troup and they were being very quiet and just hanging out. The silverback was surrounded by the twins and a 3 year old. The three year old sat facing him and was imitating his dad. Cute to watch. A mom and her baby were sitting and we could see the baby quite well as it nursed. Our quide,Augustine said she usually shields the baby form sight so we were very fortunate to see this. Grooming is a very common activity. We walked on and came to another mom and her 3 year old...actually it was one set to our right and the other on our left. The female decided to put on a cirque du soleil performance using a tree limb. We laughed and even had an awww... moment when she gave us a big smile. What a great finale to this experience. So different from yesterday, and probably so different than what it would be tomorrow.I never felt threatened or concerned for my safety, it was a very peaceful and enlightening experience.

The trek back was much quicker and we were back by 11:30am.

READY TO GO! One more hotel and one more airplane sleep and I will be home. Getting very excited about returning home after having experienced an adventure of a lifetime...

We had a lovely 2 hour drive back to Kigali. I saw a man going downhill on his bike with a large package of potatoes and he was dragging his feet. Jimmy told me he has no brakes so he uses bits of old tires and straps them to his feet...he was really zooming along!

As I watched moms and dads loving their children, laundry hanging outside, people visiting, exchanging goods, and working their land and children laughing, playing and crying...our circumstances and lifestyles are different but we are all humans and there is a definite tie that binds and we are 'much similar'.

Had a great wrap up dinner as a group at a Japanese restaurant and we received gifts from our guides. They were most thankful for our visit and there was a genuine desire for us to enjoy and return.

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