It’s Mr and Mrs this week,with work turning to holiday and visits to Albert Nile and Victoria Nile,Lake Victoria and Lake Albert.
It’s strange dipping into tourist role and seeing other Muzungos.It’s great having even a short spouse sharing time.So we passed sugar cane and papaya,tea and papyrus growing commercially and limiting the preserved rainforest. Commercial necessity giving a nod to nature.
And then we entered tourist world.A strange dance of charm and mistrust,generosity and disappointment, meanness and ‘who cares ? It’s a holiday’ and elation and disbelief. Strangers become contract partners. The luggage a supposition is that the last person looking vaguely like this one has already set the unbreakable rules of engagement. And as that happens a strange bilateral hint of unspoken dissatisfaction smoulders. Unspoken lest the tourist has suspicions aroused ,lest the tourist closes the wallet, less the tourist spoils the holiday atmosphere,less the local doesn’t deliver.
But these sentiments were barely a factor in our paddle to Jinja’s source of the Nile .We were treated to sights of otter,large lizards,kingfishers,monkeys,fish and a myriad of colourful birds. They circle the bubbling water that breaks out of the ground and kisses the outlet of Lake Victoria on it’s way to make power.Power,after tourism as the second,no,third after fishing, use of the Nile waters before it’s many life giving roles on it’s 4000 mile journey.
And so the Victoria Nile parts the silt and the rocks and thunders down into Lake Albert.And tourism embraces the narrowest Nile and the wonder of tourists pays respect to the possession of nature.
And in the relaxation camp ,maybe a hippo or a warthog will come by and add value to the moment of the tourist.Random bonanza for a cluster of foreign passer bys and justifying the special Muzungo prices.No exchange for nature that just passes by.Our forests are cleared ,our mountains are bare and our nature is squeezed. May the conservation work of nature flourish wherever it is and the tariffs paid back into nature.The love and the loathing of tourism.