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Saturday, November 26, 2011

the girl who stopped swimming

I honestly don't even know how to begin to describe the Thanksgiving weekend I had.

It started with an absolutely ridiculous (in a great way) dinner which contained:
-vegetarian stuffing
-steamed veggies (with some amazing spices)
-mashed potatoes
-home made ice cream
-apple pie

This is all the things I ate, of course there was the usual carnivorous food present. The apple pie and homemade ice cream tasted like liberty. Seriously. I felt like I was back at home (even though at home I don't really celebrate Thanksgiving traditionally).

Anyhow, the dinner was much more than I ever anticipated it to be. I have to say the company made the dinner exponentially better. We had some non-PCV friends come join in the festivities (one of the goals of PC is to share the culture of the U.S. to the Ugandans). The dinner ended well, with laughter and amazing friends.

Friday was mostly a free day. We went into town and I bought way too much junk. Ok, it wasn't completely junk but I did spend a lot of money and I probably didn't NEED everything I bought. Oh well, too late now.

That night we did the sunset cruise on Lake Victoria (a.k.a. the booze cruise). I didn't really plan on drinking that much because I knew we'd be rafting the next day (starting at 8 am). However, Uganda had a different plan for me. Apparently, the plan was to get Aditi completely drunk. I had four drinks on the cruise, two rounds of flip cup were played, plus another few at the bar at the hostel we're staying at. Meanwhile, other people are also getting drunk (almost everyone, in fact) and I seemed to be given the task of taking care of people (ok, it was more like I took that role on myself, so it's really just my fault). Anyhow, a lot of unnecessary drama occurred, leaving a pretty bad taste in my mouth. Don't worry, details will be spared, they aren't important in the grand scheme of things. The next morning, after waking up multiple times in the night for various reasons (all of which involved running to the restroom) I somehow was able to pack my things are get myself ready to raft the Nile.

We got ourselves together and went to the first location where all the rafters meet up. After trying really hard to keep down the tea they gave me, I was finally able to get a rolex in without ralphing. When we got to the location of the start of the rafting trip I was somehow intimidated by the guides, they had the most amazing physique I've ever seen in the male gender. Seriously. Imagine the perfect guy and this is the actual existence of that image. I'm not even exaggerating.

Once we got into the water, it was all business. We did some safety things where we learned how to paddle, what to do when the raft flips, etc. Then, we started out mission. The first drop was 6 meters which was AWESOME. We didn't flip, yet. There was a raft that went after us that got stuck on the drop and their guide had to get out and push them off the drop. It was pretty hilarious. The next few meters were uneventful until we got to the first grade 5 rapids (please note: the highest grade of rapids is 6). Our guide pretty much guaranteed we would flip which sounded very exciting, in theory. In actual practice is is the closest I've been to death since climbing Machu Pichu and getting lost doing a side hike which was not supposed to be that difficult but led to me almost sliding off the side of a mountain because it started raining. The raft flipped, pinning me under the water for what can only be described as eternity. I came up to the surface gasping for air and frantically waving my arms for help. A kayaker (who was one of the guides who was there to help in just these occasions) came and saved my life. Seriously. My life. I hung on to the kayak for dear life (imagine a baby hanging from someone's arm with his or her arms and legs wrapped around said arm). He took me to a small raft with a single guide on it where I nearly passed out. I was passed on to yet another raft, this one normal sized with a bunch of Chinese people and Dorothy (a fellow PCV). Everyone's face looked panicked and everyone kept asking me if I was okay. The guide took off my life-vest and my helmet and Dorothy turned to me and said there was some blood coming from my nose. Blood. In the chaos of the raft flipping over, something hit my square in the nose. Awesome. Luckily, according to the guide, my nose did not break. It took a few minutes for the bleeding to stop, but it finally did but my face still hurt for a long time after. I was finally transferred to my original raft and we proceeded down the river. The next few rapids were not as eventful, no more flipping until the last set. Of course, it would be an almost complete repeat of the first experience, except I was pinned under the water and could not get out for almost a whole minute. I had to somehow push the raft off of me while breathing in water. Yeah. Talk about near-death. After being saved, yet again, I proceeded to float down the Nile for a little while until a raft picked me up to pull into shore. Those were the most chaotic moments during the ride. The most breathtaking were the easy floats down the nice and the nice lazy swims. It was amazing and truly inspiring to be floating down the Nile.

Yeah, I survived rafting the Nile.

So now I can say I've swam and rafted the Nile as well as gotten completely drunk on a boat cruising Lake Victoria.

Oh yeah, I also peed in the Nile, how many people can say that?


1 comment:

  1. Aditi!!!! I hope you didn't steal any signs after you got drunk...and how in the world did you go water rafting with that type of hangover??? and omg!!!! you are alive!!!! that was crazy! I miss you soo much