Beautiful Lake Bunyonyi

It was a week before Christmas. All 6 of us were packed into our tiny Toyota Spacio. Sammy is saying he’s car-sick. Addy is whining about when we will arrive at the island. Mom and Dad are just trying to enjoy the beautiful hills of southern Uganda. All the noise was stopped, though, when Mom pointed out Lake Bunyonyi.

“Ooooo!” we said together. The landscape was beautiful, the water crisp, with green islands dotting it here and there, and wooden canoes like pencils leaving a soft mark on a great blue paper.

We parked our car, grabbed our overnight bags, and headed down to the boat that would take us to our destination. It was amazing to ride on the glorious waters of Lake Bunyonyi. But I couldn’t stop worrying about my sister Addy falling over the edge or doing something stupid (she didn’t). Soon our destination was in sight!

When we first arrived at Entusi Resort, the staff gave us some delicious passion-fruit juice (Yum!). R.J. and I explored the grounds by walking on a little path. When we were coming back, I noticed that it looked as if some pillows were in the hammock. R.J. and I stepped in for a closer look. As I approached, I realized that there was actually someone in the hammock! We were relieved when we found out that it was just Sammy and Addy, and we hadn’t walked in on some 20-year-old snoozing.

Soon Mom and Dad called us up to make an order for dinner. I ordered crawfish with garlic sauce. R.J. ordered pasta (his favorite), and Dad ordered his first hamburger in Africa (Yum!). It seemed that whatever was ordered ended up being super tasty! After dinner, we headed to our rooms, put on our p.j.s, and climbed into bed dreaming of what the next day would hold at the Entusi Resort.

The next morning everyone headed up to the main house for hot cocoa before breakfast. Today we were going to chill out! The early morning was filled with siting by their fire, playing board games, and eating a tasty breakfast (a combination of hash-browns, omelette, French toast, bacon, juice, and fruit). One of the fruits they served was passion fruit, and I fell in love with its crunch seeds and pucker taste.

Later that morning, we got on a boat again and headed to another island on the lake. On the way there, our local guide Brite told us the story of the Upside Down Island. The story fits with its name as it is about a spirit disguised as a poor old lady who begs for food. The greedy man in charge of the island refuses to help her, and as she sails away in a canoe, she turns the island upside down!

After hearing this story, we arrived at our destination and climbed on to the shore. The island was made up of a huge hill, and we were going to climb. As we got higher , we clambered up some great climbing rocks! A little later we ran into some children our age carrying huge piles of sticks and leaves for cattle. It looked hard to carry that much on your head! Finally when we were nearing the top of the hill, Addy began to complain that she wanted to go back. Luckily, the view at the top of the hill was beautiful - worth the climb!

That afternoon we decided that we wanted to go swimming in the lake. The water was known to be pretty clean. Our Mom took some convincing but finally agreed. We all crowded around the ladder wondering who’d go in first. When R.J. finally did, it looked as if someone had put 20 ice cubes down his back!

“Cold! Cold!” he sputtered as he treaded water.

Oh! The water was freezing! This swim trip was not going to last long. R.J. and Addy were the first to leave after just a few minutes. Sammy and I stayed a little longer to do some jumps off the dock but soon rushed back to warm up.

That evening Sammy, Mom and I worked on a 1,000 piece puzzle. It was so hard, but also super fun! After dinner that night, we watched a movie called ‘Field of Dreams.’ It was about an Iowa farmer who brings back all these dead baseball players by building a ballpark in his cornfield. It was actually good, and a great way to wrap up the day.

On our way back across the lake the next morning, we saw the Crested Crane, Uganda's national symbol. As we rode on the gorgeous waters back to shore, I reflected on all we’d done. I realized how much we need to protect our environment, so that the next generation can enjoy this beauty like I did.

Annabelle, age 11.