Posted by: michelle g | April 27, 2009

Nile River Rafting

Jacob’s mom, dad and sister Becky came to visit. Jacob’s mom and dad have been here before. They came last summer and participated in a mission trip. Sister Becky had her first visit to Africa. We spent a few days hanging around home and showing the family our life. We went to the vegetable market, the craft market, my favorite dress shop, the supermarket, the lake, etc. The three of them were so gracious. It was easy to host them.

Krista, the vicar’s wife had a guest who is a NGO worker in Sudan-Beth. Krista threw her a pizza party and the Gillards were invited. Beth’s friend Roberta who works for an NGO in Uganda was also at the party. They were talking about rafting the Nile in the a.m. I looked at Becky and asked if she wanted to go…so the five of us ladies decided to hit the rapids. We woke early and caught the transportation provided for the rafting adventure. We drove about two hours to JinJa which is the town where the Nile River begins. We got a breakfast and we got a “little talk” and got our gear. Then we drove to the Nile. There was another group of five in a second boat and there was a huge safety boat. To keep us extra secure, we had about 4 kyak guys shadowing us the whole time. We put on our helmets and jackets and get in the boat. We get our instructions. We get to class two rapids and he tells us to get in. We are going down in just jackets. Well, it looked unnerving but it was fun and we all started having a lot of fun after that. I can’t remember all the classifications of all the rapids…but here is what happened.

We hit our first big rapids…maybe a four. These rapids are huge…it is no little river rafting adventure in Oregon where you feel bumpy and maybe fall out of the boat. We don’t even sit up in these waters. It is hold the roap and sit down in the boat. It is like…yeah, there is no way the boat is staying upright. So the first time we flipped….I went flying way back into the rapids. I sat in the front so I think the front of the boat hit and threw me back so so far. When we were going down, I knew we were toast b/c all I saw was a wall…I mean a wall of water. So I’m churning under and I’m trying to remember that I won’t die most likely and that I have to keep holding my breath. After a few seconds I popped up to see everyone everywhere and the little kayak guy there to give me a lift back to the big boat. We went over an eight foot waterfall next. We didn’t’ flip over on that. Then a class five where we flipped again. That time I was churning around even longer and when I popped up…Becky said…”you were under for a long time”. Yeah, I wasn’t too happy after that one. I had drunk so much Nile River water I was sure I would get runny tummy.

We had a light lunch on the boat. We ate pineapple and cookies. We were offered water but none of us drank. We had enough Nile in us already. It was overcast and it began to sprinkle and get cool. It was so peaceful and wonderful in the areas where there were no rapids. We saw a lot of eagles and birds. We saw people bathing and washing clothes. It was beautiful Africa. We did over a dozen rapids in all…all classifications…

We got to the last raid. It was massive. I mean…I think it was beyond class six or something. We got out, walked half way down and entered. I was thinking…how can we do this? All the huge water was just above us. Well, we got in..and soon after… the boat flew. This time, I flew like a bird but since it was the end of the rapids…there wasn’t churning water. This made me happy and I landed in a peaceful spot. I got a kyak ride again and he took me to murky waters where it was a bit shallow and a monitor lizard was swimming along the edge of the grass. Yeah…
We ended our day with a supper at a beautiful cliff eatery. Our stomachs had settled and we all had a drink to celebrate our endeavor. Would I do it again? I really would. But Becky gave me some advice that I had missed in our training sessions. I guess we were encouraged to always hold onto the rope of the boat. The boat pops up right away so you don’t get churned under. Next time…I will try it.

Accomplished Nile River Rafters

Accomplished Nile River Rafters

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