Last semester, I studied abroad in Rwanda and Uganda. During my time in Uganda, my program took us to spend two days at the Nile River and on a safari in Murchison Falls National Park. The park is the largest in Uganda and is home to over 76 species of mammals alone.
We started on the Nile River, where the sun reflected itself on the water. As a child, I often would read stories about the Nile River. I’d imagine what it would be like to see it in person, to make the childhood fantasy real.
Alongside the Nile, we saw a herd of elephants heading into the trees. Everyone present went silent, in awe of their greatness. Though we were at a distance, we all seemed afraid to even whisper, as though the slightest of noise could take away the sheer magic and beauty of the moment.
From the Nile, we moved further into the park. I realized how difficult it is to comprehend the size of these animals except in this kind of closeness.
To close the essay, I chose the photo that encapsulated the greatest moment of my time in the park. Seeing lions during the day — or at all — in the park is a rare occurrence. If there was a moment in my life I could freeze to fully soak in, it would have been this one.
I know it’s cliché to say that a person will never forget their experience abroad but I can confirm that it is beyond true for me. These moments on the Nile are certainly no exception.
Photos courtesy of the author.