This blog should be about AMAZING Sergenti but I am going to jump in with a little something that is foremost on my mind right now.
Right up front when I started writing this blog, I told you that I would be honest with my writings, so for those who only want sunshine and roses I suggest you stop reading this now and wait for my Serengeti post rather… as the hard times are about to be revealed….
As I write this I feel guilty to be saying this but honesty at times life on the road is seriously tough. YES YES YES we have seen and experienced THE most incredible sights and places and we are SO utterly blessed to be doing this trip as know so many people will never be able to do this. I know this, and acknowledge this, and remind myself of this daily. So read the below knowing that we know how lucky we are and we count our blessings daily….
But life on the road can sometimes take it toll.
From the videos you have seen over the past weeks it is DEFINITELY not always sunshine and roses with the team Fogg trip. The rain has poured and the tent awning has gone awol and we have got SOPPING wet & freezing cold holding down the tent, with no hot shower to warm yourself afterwards. We have had car issues, we have had various trials and tribulations that social media doesn’t always allow our followers to get a true glimpse of.
Our first few weeks in Uganda we felt a bit like we were in an emotional slump - or as I described it to my brother… a “funk”… we weren’t getting as excited about things as we should be, our sense of adventure seemed dull and dead, our moods were grey, we were crabby with each other and not connecting. Things in the 4ina4x4 camp were just not happy and smooth sailing.
I am not sure what caused this – was it just exhaustion at constantly moving “house”, was it the lack of hot showers (and sometimes even toilets!), or the constant pile of hand washing that needed to be done, or grocery shopping for food when “normal” food sources are scarce, was it the planning of “where-to next”, was it purely a timing thing that happens to travellers after 100 odd days on the road, or maybe the lack of comms with the outside world due to social media bans in Uganda……???? Who knows, but team Fogg was definitely out of sorts.
From my point of view sometimes just chatting to someone “outside” of us was helpful. My older brother has a knack of refocusing my mind, with enough honesty and empathy to allow you to feel what you feeling but also to somehow shift your energy to good … all in the same breath!!! Sometimes just acknowledging and accepting your feelings is all it takes to reset yourself and in turn help your family to reset their emotions and thoughts. Chatting through our “head-space” Dev and I both felt we needed some downtime in one place. So, in a few weeks, we have booked a lengthily comfortable stopover in a little cottage with a proper kitchen, lounge and 2 bedrooms (luxury!!!!) and in a families garden so think this connection with other people will be good too. Simply by making this decision coupled with accepting our feelings, our moods instantly rose and life on the road has been better. Until last night…..
Dev had left earlier that day to climb Ruwenzori's Mountain, a seriously physically and emotionally challenging 7 day hike to Margaretha Peak. Communication between us only through the guide his side and someone at base camp. -so basically no personal comms. This was his dream which I encouraged him to follow and i am so glad he is doing it! But let me tell you being left in the middle of Africa in a tiny village with your 2 kids to fend for is quite a daunting task. I backapcked alone at the age of 21 around Euopre and the middle east, but throw in your 2 precious children and suddenly your protective worrying side comes out. So as excited as I was for him, my feelings were already a little wobbly.
Last night sitting in our room we have never felt so far away from home and our loved ones. My mum who is me and my kids everything, left a voice note to say she was being rushed into theatre to have a hernia op….. At this stage I did not know how serious this op was or what was entailed (or even what a hernia was!!!) Here I was sitting in some tiny village in Western Uganda, hours from any airport and with 2 kids sobbing their eyes out as much as me. And with Dev out of comms. It was the most helpless feeling. And never have I felt so alone trying to control my own anxiety and helplessness and also try be strong and look after my equally emotional kids. I am not sure how so many of my friends (and my one brother and his family) are able to live so far away from family… as when something horrible happens the distance is massive. Thankfully the operation went well and my mum was finally eased of her pain and was very chatty this morning. But shoo what a long lonely night it was and how far away and helpless I felt.
So yes, being out here travelling and exploring our beautiful continent is incredible and what we have seen and experienced has surpassed all our dreams. But there are days when it is hard. When you miss a familiar face who knows you and your “history”, when you yearn for a loved one’s hug or chat over a cup of tea, or a sundowner followed by a braai with friends on a hilltop, a lick from our dogs…. (and of course I miss my washing machine… A LOT!)
I would not swop what we are doing but maybe I am just shedding some light on the days where the sun might appear to the outside to be shinning bright but actually in reality has been a tough demanding day where tears have been held back of openly shed.
PS -I promise the next one will be SUNSHINE AND ROSES :):):):):)