Gorilla Trek Winner Reflects on her Adventure

December 13, 2011

Gorilla Trek Winner Reflects on her Adventure

(The last post of a five-part series)

Tomorrow I have a long ride back to Kigali to catch the first of three flights to get home. I’m sad to be leaving Africa, my second home! Although this trip has been short it was certainly full of excitement. Animals, travel and Africa are my passions, so this trip did not disappoint.

And so, here are some things for which I am grateful regarding this trip:

  • Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! If you are looking for a unique Christmas or birthday gift or if you just want to support a charity that does wonderful work please consider donating. You can even symbolically adopt a gorilla.
  • Baobab Expeditions, who donated the prize package for the Fossey Fund contest. This is my first time traveling with this company and they did not disappoint. They have expeditions around the world so check them out online at http://www.baobabexpeditions.com/gorillas_-_rwanda if you are looking for a little adventure. Richard will set up a great trip for you.
  • The amazing animals that allowed me into their world once again. I know it is not everyone’s dream to come to Africa to hang out with animals but don’t knock it until you’ve stood about five feet away from a silverback gorilla!! Awesome! This was my third and fourth gorilla trek and each one has been so special.
  • The wonderful, warm-hearted people of Rwanda. They are always quick with a smile and a wave. The children are adorable especially when they run after the vehicle yelling "Muzungu." Muzungu is a Swahili word that means “someone who roams around aimlessly” but in this context they basically mean “whitey." Funny!
  • All of the guides, rangers and trackers for doing a bang-up job…and for rescuing me [when I fell]!
  • My family and friends who support my desire to follow my dreams of stepping foot on all seven continents (Antarctica, I will see you in one month) and seeing animals in the wild, which is where they belong. Also for following me around the world through the internet.

Tomorrow I depart at 7:30 a.m. Hopefully the roads are intact or I just might have to stay a while longer. Hmm, wouldn’t that be nice?!
Kathleen C. Rautiainen