We started the day again with no water. Also no breakfast ready. Everything was topsy-turvy because Mountain Gorilla Inn is to be used for a reception after the Graduation Ceremony up at the University. Dickens has got quite a catering job on his hands!
Eventually someone rustled up something for us to eat, and we made our way up to the University, feeling unwashed and scruffy ( who packs a suit when you are travelling?)
We were introduced to the visiting vice-chancellor from Nkumba University in Entebbe, with whom Great Lakes are affilliated, and some of his key staff. Also present was the local MP who is the Government Minister for housing, the Honourable Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, as well as Bishop Hamlet Kabushenga who is the Chancellor of the University.
It was an interesting experience. Speeches were somewhat longer than we were used to. The Government Minster gave an interesting historical overview of the progress of Uganda, followed by a summary of the speech in Rukiga, the local language. At Bishop Hamlet’s invitation, I made a brief contribution and then passed the proceedings back to the academics.
For me, the most memorable part was the wonderful traditional dancing performed by some of the students. Such energy and vitality, and sheer joy! It even got the Vice-Chancellor to his feet, joining in for a bit.
After lunch, Hamlet very kindly suggested we should stay overnight in his Lodge on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, from where I am now writing this post. We are sitting on a verandah overlooking the forest, reflecting back on both parts of the day, and looking forward to a short guided walk through this habitat of mountain gorillas tomorrow.