Today we had our first real, independent adventure. Thirteen of us split a taxi for less than $6 per person to go out to a crater lake. It was part of a resort (Kyaninga Lodge) atop this mountain so just struggling up the steep slope in our battered van was a journey in itself.

When we got to the top and saw the fantastic view of the entire valley, I was awestruck. On one side was a huge expanse of green with banana trees and unidentifiable vegetation. On the other side was a gorgeous lake lined with cliffs overlooked by mountains. In the distance you could even see Fort Portal and the king’s palace even though we had driven pretty far from the city. Basically we had stepped into a postcard. But better.

This place is the peak of seclusion. There were less than a dozen grass huts but you could tell they were shaped solely for looks. They were more than luxurious and even the drinks they sold seemed pricier than food at our hotel. The residents have access to a pool, tennis and volleyball courts, a helicopter pad (although apparently it’s only been used once), and of course, the huge lake.



Sorry my pics really can’t capture what I’m talking about. Here’s the pic from Lucy’s blog (


The first thing we did was walk down to the dock, change, and go for a swim. We’d already been assured that the lake was parasite free so it was a very carefree afternoon. The water was warm, pretty unsurprising considering how bright the sun was shining. We snapped an incredible amount of photogenic pictures (unfortunately not on my phone so I can’t post them here) and took turns jumping off the dock.

Then we headed back up to the huts and simply sat on the grass terrace for an hour or more. Who knows? There was a cool breeze and the sun glistened on the lake. The water was incredibly blue and suddenly the term “mermaid lagoon” popped into my mind because that’s who we could’ve been swimming with. It was that nice. I simply couldn’t take in enough of the incredible sight… I can only imagine what it must be like to be there during sunset. But unfortunately we wanted to make it back to the city before dark.

The ride back was definitely interesting though since we had about 5 UVA med students hitchhike with us. They had all taken gap years and 4 of them were working on research in Rwanda. Listening to all they had experienced internationally was fascinating. All of them had done so much everywhere working in the air force for 6 years or teaching in Ecuador for 3. I hope our stories will be just as cool someday.


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