That was the best sleep we’ve had in a few days.
We requested a private tour with a guide to spend a day with the Batwa pygmies. The tour involved hiking at the top of the mountain, but of course we didn’t know that!
Levi, our guide, shown here, in front of a tea plantation; ( this is where our hike starts!)
works for the organization in charge of preserving the Pygmy customs and culture.
He tells us we’re climbing to where the fire is, right!!! It turns we hiked to the top of the mountain
The Batwa student who was learning the Pygmies’ customs and our translator who was instrumental in communicating with the Pygmies. We also had a military police follow us with a gun. Lots of people taking care of us.
Johanne starting on the trail, all Gung Ho!
The pygmies of the forest lived quite old, into their nineties to the hundreds. The three Batwa on the right are close to ninety years old! As you can see the three on the right are of short stature- that’s how tall they grow when they live in the forest.
They greeted us by singing and dancing!
Levi explained how the houses are made- this one is more basic
and the brick is manufactured and fired up so it can bind.
We learned of the 3 types of bananas they grow and how it flowers.
As we walk higher, the rainforest gets ticker, the trees higher, the forest denser.
The Two oldest pygmie women played a prank on us and hid under a mound of ferns!
In of itself, it is a very sad story; for thousands of years they lived in the Bwindi rainforest and other forest as well in Africa. There were violently ousted in 1991. The government decided that the forest would become a national park where no humans could live to preserve the animal life in the forests
The irony is that they have such an understanding and reverence of the forest that they left very little footprint. They ate what they killed, they picked fruits and vegetables just enough for their consumption
Their shelter was the side of a rock covered in bamboo or leaves which were all from the forest.
Or when they were threatened by wildlife they would build shelters way up in the trees
Their clothing was fashioned out of tree bark which is first pounded and then cut with a knife as it becomes soft.
This was their church, where they prayed to their gods fur health, food and shelter. Each stone representing an offering!
All these plants were their drugstore!
This plant give milk to any women who needs to breastfeed a orphan baby!
They were masters in understanding the benefits or dangers of each plant, trees or shrub, which provided them a open air hospital for treating any disease. It reminds me a lot of Eastern medicine.
We’ve finally reached the top of the mountain!
At the bottom of the hill is the town we were in!
They entertain us with their song and dance and it’s delightful!
Here is an elder playing a home made harp
watching them Dancing in the tent
In front of the tent/At the top of the mountain with the Batwa
An encounter with Young Ugandans earning a living, carving gorillas!
What a way to spend our last day here!
Johanne and I hiked 4.5 miles and enjoyed a Great cultural experience and breathtaking vistas!