Two hundred thousand Uganda shillings, can buy a few things, like an outfit or 6, maybe one, four meals at my favorite eating places in Kampala or just a week’s cure to brokenness.
What 200k can’t buy however is an
experience I paid the exact amount of money for, from which I am still dealing with the hangover from the high.
What am I going on about?
If you have read my attempt at writing here for a while, you know about my professional groupieness to koikoiUg.
I said a post or so ago, that this initiative gave me things to think about, things learn and things to be mad about, in a ‘why-didnt-I-come-up-with-this’ kind of way.
I know am going around in circles and its all because I feel incapable of literally explaining myself, but let me try!
In a bid to try new things this year and a quest to just explore the Pearl of Africa, I decided to take a trip with these Kafunda Kreatives to Kapchorwa, or what is fondly referred to as #koikoiEast
The plan was to go with my friend Prima but, plans changed along with her mind.
I considered skipping the trip but blog buddy now turned human friend Joel Jjemba expressed worthy cause for me to go anyways.
So I packed my bags on Friday, 6th March, 2016, and headed to shell Lugogo, inter Alia hopped on van with people I had never actually met, and made a decision to have at the very least 200k worth of a blast.( Whatever that is)
The start of the trip was very awkward. Like the first day at a new school. (I went to 7 different schools, so I am an authority on this.)
Everyone knew someone but me and I was slowly sliding into that, ‘hangout with your phone and assume you are having fun’ place.
Then I met Dina, she was on the trip by herself as well, and maybe we were under the ‘birds of the same feathers’ spell, but I finally had someone to take the seven hour journey with.
The conversation just kept going from Kampala to Kapchorwa.
Thanks to the sturdiness
of the dynamic Shell V-Power at fighting corrosion and gunk in the vehicle engines (oh yes I can write motor -lingo): seven hours, road-side meat eating at Namawojolo, black tea hunting in Mbale, and a run through a few districts later, we arrived in Kapchorwa, precisely, Crow’s Nest Tourist Lodge.
Food happened and its not very distant cousin alcohol showed up moments later right at what can pass for a balcony across from the sound of the waterfall. ( It was midnight so it wasnt a sight yet)
It steered the conversations a.k.a epic ‘laugh till your ribs hurt’ banter to which I assumed the noble role of, a baffled mute bystander and the entire time I was thinking,
‘ From today you guys need to adjust your name to ‘Kafunda Krazy Kreatives
On or around 3 am what was supposed to be a turn in for everyone ended into another hour and a half of random conversations with my roommates.
I was also proudly able to finish the article for my first serious writing deadline which I gladly edited for, 30minutes, when sleep finally won every one else over.
So yes I slept at 5am only to wake up an hour later to catch the sunrise, which didn’t appreciate my sacrifice.
I didn’t stick around long enough to watch it happen because it took more than its sweet time but I took my win of being up and running after just a nap and moved on.
Breakfast, pictures and an attempt to mingle later, we finally headed to Sipi Falls for the overly anticipated abseiling experience…
Let me first define abseiling
“Abseiling is a degree of ‘maybe you shouldn’t dare try it’ crazy where you convince yourself it is a good idea to glide down 100M off a cliff, which is 10M across from the rapid Sipi Falls, while having absolutely no sight of where you end up, and your decision is stemming from your blind trust in Robert– the instructor whose favorite phrase is, ‘your mind will try and lie you that you are going to fall
When you abseil, the only things standing between you and a nice fall to rock bottom (literally) is,
1.The two gentlemen who suspend you to start, the insane journey at the top and are pretty much holding your life in their hands with the magic rope.
2. A young lad waiting to receive you dead or alive at the bottom that you can’t see quite yet.
3. A nice looking tight harness and a rope which Robert-the instructor likes to call, the life line.
The decision to partake from this cup of cray cray was influenced partly by the fear of regret( #FOMO) the irrational ache to try something completely new and adrenaline rush giving, peer pressure ( everyone seemed on board), and a phone call I made to my sister Dear before I went to hang myself that encouraged me to pursue this 100% sheer madness..
I was among the last people to go and almost everyone ahead of me made it at the very least seem doable.
However the minute I was all strapped up and took the first step on that rock, I was sure about just two things; first that if I died, I was going to heaven and second that I have successfully messed up Mother Dearest for the rest of her life.
I did it all wrong at first, Robert-the instructor yelled a few things, which I hardly understood considering I too busy being glad I was alive to hear his yelling.
I got it together finally I let go, and there it was;
A blend of colors, the green of the valley, the blue of the sky, the color of the rocks that I don’t know and the nearly white color of the rapid falls
A dance with no rhythm but perfect in every way
A liberation from control I knew I didn’t want back, and this is what I texted my friend when it was over,
“I abseiled along the Sipi falls and I experienced worship in all its magnitude and the presence of God in all its grandeur.
Something about hanging off a cliff across from a rapid water fall, between the sky, rocks and a valley with a rope being the only difference between life and death maybe the truest way I have ever comprehended the greatness of our God.
I have a high from it”
( I still can’t find a fitting description so I guess we are stuck)
It was awe-inspiring, hair-raising,
heart stopping and yet real in every way the result being a new level of worship and dauntlessness..
Nothing beats it, not even the unsuspected hike back to the top of the cliff.
Longer than any distance I have ever subjected my feet to.
Through a footpath where whatever slip would have me rolling down faster than a soccer ball, and my only source of hope, encouragement and walking stick assistance, a 16year old Sebei boy named Peter with serious gentleman prospects.
Penny my hike mate also helped, she always seemed ready to go even when I was sure I couldn’t get up from the seats I took under the dripping rocks.
It was hard and absolutely not fancy but who needs fancy when you can have abseiling instead?
We learned later on that Sipi Falls is a trio, and as we made our visits to the other two, I marvelled as I drenched in the splash of Sipi no 3 like a child playing in the rain only this time fully aware of it’s crafter’s artistic genius and in the thunderous nearly musical outpour or the the definitely most beautiful Sipi N0. 2( I hope I got the numbers right)
I remember knowing in those moments that I could never have paid nearly enough for the experience and being extremely grateful for the invitation to participate.
Whatever happened the rest of the trip, I will be in another post another time.
The Sipi Experience is sui generis
ps: I love you for reading