Friday, September 24, 2010

Three Country Dream Vacation!

To continue our Vacation Friday Theme, I am going to share my trip of a lifetime that I went on five years ago. My husband was asked to teach a class in Mbale, Uganda in Africa, and our church decided I needed to go with him. Yep. For two and a half weeks, I left my 4 children in the hands of my sweet mother and traipsed across the globe, eyes wide with wonder and jaw slack with amazement.
Village Church in Mbale, Uganda
First we went to Mbale, Uganda. After a total of 18 hours in a plane, we arrived and were in awe of the landscape so different from the U.S. It was surreal. We were able to visit a village church where the roof was made of grass and the floor of hard, dry manure. Yes, I am really large one in the picture.

Source of the Nile
 We got to see the source of the Nile River.A little farther down, you can ride the rapids. I, being the non-water-type, nixed that particular fun.

Top of Mt. Wanale
The top of Mt. Wanale was beautiful. An interesting thing about Uganda was that people are constantly burning their fields, which adds a continual smoky look to the area. After crops are grown, the people burn them, thinking that it is good for the soil. The people there grow crops everywhere and line the mountains with them. How they work them on that incline, I'll never know.
Market in Mbale
There was some good shopping to be had and I found out that Goodwill sends clothes for the people to purchase. It was interesting to see the name brand clothes on the people there.

After my husband taught his week long course, we headed back and took a three day layover in London. Oh my goodness! For a lover of history, this city was  a piece of heaven. I will say, thought, that after seeing the poverty in Africa, it was difficult to walk through the palace and see the crown jewels. All those beautiful gems under glass, just sitting there looking pretty while they could be feeding so many hungry children in Africa. I know, I's all a part of history and we have plenty of wealth here in the States, but it just struck home at that particular time and place.

Kensington Palace
We walked all over London, rode the subway quite a bit...MIND THE GAP...and saw some impressive architecture. We were able to see Trafalgar Square, where Mary Poppins sang about feeding birds. We walked across the London Bridge, and we toured the Tower of London.

London Bridge
One of my favorite things was seeing Westminster Abby. Oh my...the history there. I walked around the place, running my fingers across the walls, wondering what kings and queens placed their hands on the very walls I was touching. It was mind boggling.
Side View of Westminster Abby...with my husband.
We had a neighbor who insisted we hop over to Paris for a day and gave us the money to do so. We got up early and rode a train to Paris and we went fast and furious through the city, trying to get as much sightseeing as we could in the little time that we had. We visited Notre Dame and I was completely astounded at the beautiful craftsmanship. The stained glass, the painted carvings, the high carved ceilings. It was breathtaking.
Notre Dame
Stained Glass in Notre Dame
We did a really, really fast run through at the Louvre. Someday I am going back to Paris to spend several days perusing the sights and take my timethere. This museum is magnificent and is truly one of the most fascinating and lovely places I've ever been in. History from all over the world just wraps my brain in warm fuzzies.
After the Louvre, we went to Eiffel Tower. We wanted to go up to the top, but the line was so long, we went to sidewalk cafe instead and had coffee and some delicious creme brule. Oooo-la-la...scrumptious. 
Eiffel Tower
We came home from this trip tired and hungry to see our children, but still reflect longingly on our trip, hoping one day to return and spend more time really getting into the history and life of these great cities. (Paris in particular).

I was not writing at the time, and wonder what kind of stories I would have spun while experiencing history with fresh eyes. Sure, I can reminisce and weave some fun tales of ...something...but I bet traveling to a new country while on the prowl for a new story would produce some fun tales. 

Another day, another story, another vacation.

So what is the best vacation you have ever taken?


Pepper said...

Oh wow, Sherrinda!!
Talk about contradictions. Two very different places and cultures. Amazing.
And what fodder for stories?!?

Btw - I have the same pic of Westminster and the tower bridge. Sigh.

Thanks for sharing.

Mary Vee Writer said...

What a fantastic trip. You have enticed me to go to both places. What a memory trip for you. So glad you got to go. :)

Casey said...

What lovely photos! I really can't think of anything else to say, except beautiful! Even though it was a fast trip, I am sure you made some amazing memories. That is definately the trip of a lifetime. :)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Thanks, ladies. It really was the trip of a lifetime. So many wonderful experiences! I was so incredibly blessed!