Friday, July 11, 2014

Rwanda: Day Twenty-One

Wow!  Yesterday was long and ultimately great!  We woke up at 4:30 and began our adventure!  After having to push-start our car, we headed to Akagera Park in Rwanda's Eastern Provence.  Upon arrival, our hopes of a quick and easy safari were dashed when we found out that due to the season, we wouldn't see animals in the main part of the park and we'd have to drive for about 4-6 hours before they were spotted.  Almost immediately all attitudes went downhill and the monsters who had been woken up at 4:30 in the morning started to surface.  I put on my "everything is going to be awesome" happy face and reminded them that in order to save an apology letter later, it would be best if they tried to see the bright side.

So we drove.  And we drove.  And we drove.  (Mind you, we are squished in a car with no air condition and the road conditions are terrible.)  As we were driving we noticed that maybe the animals were MIA due to the recent brush fire--the brush fire that took up our first four hours.  By the time the fourth hour came to a close.  I was frustrated.  The day was awful.  That was my conclusion.

But then we came to Hippo Beach where we decided to eat lunch.  Our day brightened--even got fun and exciting and brought laughter!  We hopped out of the car to the sound of several hippos grunting at us and a hungry croc waiting for the baby hippo to get separated from the group.  We were so excited!!!!
 From that point on (the next 3 hours of the drive), there were animals galore!  It was so much fun!  Zebras and warthogs and Kudu and Antelope and GIRAFFES!!!!  We were thrilled to see the giraffes!
Mom, this snake picture is for you.  It was longer than the car!
All in all, our Rwandan safari was a raging success.  The kids loved it--even enough to forget that we were in the car a total of 14 hours yesterday.

After the safari, a worn out Braner Bunch headed to eat with a new friend, Justin, and his wife and baby.  It was perfect.  They were so hospitable and the kids got to be in a true Rwandan home.  Justin is going to help with the Gap Year in the future and I am so excited for his vision!
Justin's daughter didn't want to have anything to do with the muzungus in her home, but she quickly warmed up to Dax (and only Dax) and life was all good--as long as the rest of us stayed away!
Day twenty-one was super!

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