By Megan Borsuk
Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda– We left New Court View Hotel and headed to Murchinson Falls. It was a bittersweet good-bye. The people at New Court View Hotel were great and took care us of us but we were excited for the next leg of the program–the safari.
Getting to Paraa Lodge was quite a journey. The road was not paved. This made for a long and very bumpy ride. My insides felt a bit scrambled. Just before we reached our destination, we had to board a ferry to cross the Nile River.
The ferry was not what I expected. Basically, it was a moving platform that carried vehicles and people across the river. It was only traveling a short distance but I did have some reservations. At one point, the park ranger had to shuffle some of us to the opposite side of the platform because it was tilting too much. But we made it–safe and sound!
When we arrived at the lodge, the staff greeted us with cold towels. It was a great surprise. After the long hot bus ride, the cool towels were so refreshing and much needed. As I peeled the towel from my face, I saw the towel was covered in red-brown dirt! At first, I was a bit embarrassed but then realized everyone else had the same dirty face!
The lodge was amazing with beautiful views, wild animals, a poolside bar, and turn-down service! Complete luxury! It was the first time I saw this side of Uganda. It was a real privilege. With that said, it also caused some discomfort, moving from the experiences we had the first three weeks. This experience really highlighted the great disparities in the country and globally.
The Paraa Lodge had stable energy, water, food, and then some, while many of the schools, homes and businesses we visited do not have safe and reliable access to these basic needs. It is frustrating to think that as a global community we have the knowledge, technology, and resources yet there are such disparities and inequality. To lessen the divide between ‘the haves’ and ‘the have nots’ we need to look at the distribution and creating fair access to these resources.