Thursday

Gorillas and the market -- Carolyn

Gorilla trekking today was absolute murder, but was more than worth the hard work! We hiked up to an elevation of 3000 meters through thick brush, slippery mud, and steep hills of jagged rocks. We even endured a plant filled with thorns that stung you if you were unfortunate enough to run into it. The stings still hurt even hours after getting back. Breathing at such a high altitude was very difficult too. However, once we reached the gorillas, all the pain and fatigue was forgotten. We came across a silverback and his family right away. We got to stand just a few feet away from them! Before we knew it, another one came from behind us and layed down in a pile of leaves in front of us. After that, a few smaller ones emerged in the trees above us. One of them even knocked down a whole tree by itself! We even got to learn what some of the grunts meant so we could understand what they were saying. The hour we got to spend with the gorillas went by so fast. By the time we got down the mountain, we were tired, hungry and covered in mud. But I had no time to rest because I had to run to the market! Yesterday, I got the opportunity to have a skirt made out of a piece of cloth I picked from the market. However, I quickly learned that we had different ideas about an acceptable length for a skirt! The women in the market were shocked, but laughing that I wanted a skirt shorter than my knees. Despite how surprised the woman was, she made me a beautiful skirt out of some very lovely cloth. I was very grateful for her services. I was also thankful for the conversation I had with our guide, Aimer, and the woman making my skirt. We learned so much about each other and the places we live. I explained how this was the first piece of clothing I have had made especially for me. They explained to me how safe Rwanda was and how anyone can walk around at night without any problems. Overall, the day was full of so many amazing experiences and I am starting to realize just how fast this trip has gone by. I am making it a new life goal to visit Rwanda again and meet with all the same amazing people again!

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