Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bubembe Island

We life-vest clad passengers carefully balanced our way across the wooden seats of one rickety canoe to step into another rickety canoe so as to avoid getting our feet wet on the shores of Lake Victoria. Eight people tagged along on this missionary-sponsored ride to Bubembe Island along with enough gear (food) to sink a ship. The one hour ride under cover of grey mist was undertaken on choppy waters. I enjoyed the front most seat on the motor powered canoe and if it had been proper I would have bounced up and down and yelled, “faster!”

Once we left shore the maze of islands confounded me. I felt like I was on a small lake surrounded by land. Instead the archipelago of islands created the mirage of singularity. Which direction to head, I hoped this unknown skipper knew.

All passengers arrived safely and—except for Vickie and I, who ran to shore through the water after having removed our shoes—dryly. Vickie led us through the fishing camp filled with wood plank shack-houses—timber is plentiful on this island—where children and adults alike stopped to stare at the mzungu. After visiting V Kids newly enrolled children, we headed uphill (as all islands are) past the vacant, community-built school. Into the jungle we trod. The temperature cooled, darkness encroached, vines hung low. It was as if at any moment Tarzan might appear.

Emerging on the other side we came upon the village where Vickie’s jajja lives with her two sisters.