THINGS YOU WANT TO DO THIS SOLAR ECLIPSE

I have always been a romantic at heart. As such, November is my very own special month. It’s a time where anything can happen and dreams come true. It’s a month you count your blessings and have thanksgiving. On 3rd November this year,an annual solar eclipse will occur  in northern Uganda. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to enjoy the dreamy romantic scene November lays out for us.

An eclipse occurs when the dark silhouette of the moon completely covers the light of the sun making the faint solar corona visible.

A total eclipse occurs when the dark silhouette of the moon completely obscures the intensely bright light of the sun, allowing the much fainter solar corona to be visible. – See more at: http://www.visituganda.com/see-and-do/events-and-exhibitions/?event=Eclipse%202013#sthash.D1MVVMjp.dpuf
A total eclipse occurs when the dark silhouette of the moon completely obscures the intensely bright light of the sun, allowing the much fainter solar corona to be visible. – See more at: http://www.visituganda.com/see-and-do/events-and-exhibitions/?event=Eclipse%202013#sthash.D1MVVMjp.dpuf
A total eclipse occurs when the dark silhouette of the moon completely obscures the intensely bright light of the sun, allowing the much fainter solar corona to be visible. – See more at: http://www.visituganda.com/see-and-do/events-and-exhibitions/?event=Eclipse%202013#sthash.D1MVVMjp.dpuf

As such, here are some things you definitely want to do this solar eclipse.

Propose. For those of you who are engaged, why not take the opportunity and pop the question in those minutes of darkness when it feels like the earth has come to a standstill? Travel to Northern Uganda, it’s a romantic peaceful place that will take the stress away for both of you and set the mood for that proposal you have been nervous about. Just before full eclipse, dazzling beads appears where sunlight shines through the cover of  the moon. The last bead creates the impression of a diamond ring in the sky, isn’t that a sign?

Speed. You can speed and follow the path of the eclipse on the roads of Packwach, Gulu , Arua, Soroti and Malindi as you try to catch up with it and find an ideal spot to view it from. Nothing can feel as exhilarating as speeding almost as fast as the moon’s shadow traveling across earth’s surface at about 5,000 miles per hour.

Maths. On any other day of the year, maths is a chore but on this day, experience the symmetry of a total solar eclipse .The sun is 400 times larger than the moon but on this day,it is also 400 times farther from Earth, making the two bodies appear the exact same size in the sky.

Not move. It is one day to be proud of being an earthling. WHY? Earth is the only planet where the sun appears the exact size as the moon on that day. So let’s celebrate being flesh and human, we get to witness this phenomenon every year.

Travel. To other planets. If the eclipse is getting you excited, you could try going to Jupiter that gets a triple eclipse, in which three moons cast shadows on the planet simultaneously. That should be mind blowing, dunno about the aliens.

Get a story for your kids-kids-kids. An eclipse usually happens once every 360 years in a given location. So your grandkids and their grandkids aren’t going to see it in Uganda again. It’s definitely up to you to see that, like you did the new millennium.

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RAFTING ALL THE WAY

‘When I first decided to go through with  rafting, I was sooooo excited!! I couldn’t stop talking about it. I pictured us on a raft, just going down the Nile through rapids. I didn’t even understand how the rapids worked.  We got there and it started sinking in. They helped us get ready,with life jackets,helmets and sunscreen.’

Claire, like any other person that decides go rafting ,expected an exhilarating experience. It was scary for her, but she agrees that it’s something everyone needs to do at least once.

After walking down  what felt like a zillion stairs to where the rafts were, we got in,balancing numbers on each side. We were about 8 in number, with one guide Tuutu. We moved the raft a little into the water, right before the first rapid. From the calm pool, we were taken through rafting drills and taught how to hold the paddles, how to get back in the raft after it capsized.

At this point my heart started beating like a drum roll and I got really scared. I began crying and wondered what I had signed myself up for. We were already in the water and it hit me that I couldn’t back out now. When I refused to go through the capsizing drill with them ,I was presented with an option. I was told to jump out of the raft and hold onto the kayak.I thought that was the better deal but after hanging onto the kayak for just 5mins, I was Begging to be let back on the raft. My arms ached and I was afraid I would drop into the water never to be seen again.

On getting to the first rapid, we all panicked. The drills could not prepare us for the actual thought of dropping over a steep water drop. No one was listening to the guide so we didn’t steer the raft correctly and ended up on the wrong side of the rapid. We got stuck on rocks and the water kept pushing us towards them. Below the water all we could see were rocks. We were so terrified and kept praying  that the end wouldn’t be so painful.  I saw my life flashing before my eyes. Tuutu was a gem, he kept us under control and told us to paddle backwards. The maneuver saved us from the rocky end. We managed to laugh and scream after going through the  meaner side of that rapid . We got to the calm pool all shaken up, and relieved to be alive.The next rapids were mild with no rocks, but we still weren’t  used to the sight of a rapid ahead of us.

The screaming, the diving when under the rapid, the celebrations after we had passed through without overturning were all a lifeline to get us through the experience. We went on to the last rapid but we had to get off before we got to it since the water was rough. We walked about 300m to a safe spot and the rafts  were carried out through the walkway to the safe spot. We watched two  kayaks go through the rapid and come out the right way up but we were too scared to dare it.

We got to the spot where we had to get off for lunch. After climbing another fleet of stairs, the long ordeal came to an end. It was a half day ride but those were definitely the longest hours of my life.