Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bruno and the Gorillas


My little friend, Bruno, used to be a waiter at Sky Blue Restaurant. He is the most hospitable little guy I’ve ever met. He’d just do anything for you. That kind of hospitality is sometimes difficult to fine in Uganda. Customer service seems so far from people’s minds, but not Bruno. It’s just how he’s wired.

Jacob and I along with another 2 people have helped pay Bruno’s school fees for him to follow his passion, studying tourism. Currently he’s interning in Bwindi Impenatrable Forrest as a Gorilla tracker! He’s been tracking the gorillas and taking tourists to see them. He came back this weekend with a number of stories and tales to tell. He knows the ‘grunts’ the gorillas make to say “I’m OK, you’re OK” and the noises they make when they’ve eaten something they really like. He even said he’s been kicked by them a couple of times…!!! Though my PC salary is small (a couple hundred bucks a month), it’s still more than I need living in my tiny village where there’s really nowhere to spend money, so it’s good to give it away. It’s taxpayers money anyway and not really mine, so I feel like it needs to be given away. I’m just glad to help and glad to hear the excitement of Bruno’s stories and to realize that they may never have happened unless a few people got together to help.

New Volunteers

Reinforcements have arrived!! There are 2 new white people living in my village, just a stone’s throw from my house. They are the 2 new PCVs (a married couple) who will be replacing me and Jacob once we’re done, but for the time being they are here to learn the ropes. It’s great to have some new faces here and to help them habituate to the surroundings. They are a great couple with a lot of great ideas about what they want to do here. They also seem to have the attitude about things which is nearly essential to survival here. They’re ready to ‘make lemonade’ as my VSO friend Chris likes to say. I’m looking forward to hearing about their successes in the next 2 years.


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