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    • Day 4

      Visting the Community

      February 8, 2023 in Uganda ⋅ ☀️ 35 °C

      We selected Murchison River Lodge as our accommodations for many reasons- their glowing reviews, their location, the beautiful accommodations. But the thing that stood out to us the most was their mission behind the business. A quick excerpt from the website: “Sustainable conservation combined with the empowerment of the local community is something Murchison River Lodge has, in recent years, spent time focusing on. We offer staff training programs, host a women’s group, work closely with the Ugandan Wildlife Authority and the Ugandan Conservation Foundation and promote local businesses. Never has it been more important to be aware of our impact on the world than now.” They also offer the option to visit the local community and efforts to guests staying at the lodge and you KNOW we said yes!

      We specifically requested to join the women’s group whose purpose struck a chord with us. It is a program for young mothers who have not be afforded the opportunity to go to school. They focus on learning English (reading and writing), math and practical skills (such as sewing) that would open so many doors for them. We quickly ate lunch and rushed off to meet them! When we arrived they stood and began singing a welcoming song and Lisa and I were instantly in tears. We spent almost an hour practicing English together- the months, days of the week, sight reading words, basic greetings (which Lisa acted out with them) and each participant even sang the alphabet song and we all applauded them. Talk about a music teacher and a speech pathologists dream day?!

      Then our friend Immaculate who leads the program asked them each to share their motivation for being a part of the group/learning and translated their answers for us. We all were in tears as they opened up and shared the most moving and inspiration reasons they want to learn. We then got to share words of encouragement that were translated back to them. English is the official language of Uganda it is comprised of over 20 different tribes, each with their own language, so learning English for these women can truly transform their lives and the lives of their children. Just a few examples:
      - In order to advocate for themselves and their children at a hospital.
      - In order to know what their child’s teacher is saying to them.
      - In order to make a living to support her 8 children after their husband past away.
      - In order to run a business and not be taken advantage of.
      - In order to support their extended family and their community.

      What an experience this was. We were deeply inspired by their desire to learn, resilience in the face of hardship and their support of one another. It reoriented my own thoughts around the opportunities for education I and so many Americans have been fortunate to have.

      As we closed, they expressed their gratitude that we came to join them and for the encouragement with many rounds of applause, hugs and their radiant faces. Lisa brought a box of Girl Scout cookies to share and we closed with a group photo ❤️ It was an experience we will never forget.
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    • Day 4

      Ended the Day in Paradise!

      February 8, 2023 in Uganda ⋅ 🌙 28 °C

      We were already on cloud 9 and then the day came to the PERFECT end!! As you know, my favorite animals are monkeys. We came to cool down in the pool and one of the guests says “did you see the monkey?!” to which I feel out and start recording the monkey. Then I saw a 2nd… 3rd… 4th… and before I knew it I was surrounded by 20 monkeys! Lisa enjoyed them but from a safe(r) distance 😂 We swam in the pool with the monkeys all around us while watching the sun set. What a DREAM! We made our way up to the watch tower to catch the full sunset just in time. As beautiful as the photos are, they don’t even begin to do it justice!

      Our driver was able to get the car fixed and joined us for a delicious dinner 🙏🏽. We don’t have much wifi here so if we don’t respond to messages or calls during the day, don’t be alarmed! Off to bed now to wake up early for our first day of Safari 🎉🎉🎉
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    • Day 7

      Final Breakfast at Murchison River Lodge

      February 11, 2023 in Uganda

      We attempted to sleep in but the excitement for another day couldn’t keep us in bed long! We enjoyed our first (since we always took it to go) and final delicious breakfast at the lodge. We were lucky to be joined by the hotel manager! We expressed our gratitude, learned more about her story (she has spent decades as an international tour guide) and connected in our shared belief about the oneness of mankind. Saying goodbye to the hotel staff felt like leaving lifelong friends, it’s hard to believe we only met each other just 3 days ago.

      We promised every person we met (guides, rangers, hotel staff, community members) we would encourage everyone we know to come and visit!!
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    • Day 17

      Murchison Falls National Park

      January 2, 2023 in Uganda ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C

      Siamo ritornati nel nostro parco preferito dopo due anni di lock down. Il nostro lodge si affaccia sulle sponde del Nilo, punto strategico per le gite in barca alla ricerca di nuove prede da fotografare. Questa mattina partenza alle 05:45 in direzione del Lago Albert.Read more

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