You’ve all heard about Ninja Warriors or at least watched the series on Television. Those ones that get you cracking up, at how easily someone can fail to overcome a ‘simple’ challenge and end up in a pool of water. Ninja Warriors are synonymous with Asia, Japan to be more specific.
Well, we have an epic version of Ninja warriors in Uganda. You’ve got to have ninja traits and be an adventurous kind to attempt it, else you fall in ‘Air’. There is no water below to waste on you. So you hang in air until someone comes to your rescue. I am not kidding, I mean it. You will be there hanging about fwaaa until Badru or another trainer comes for you.
They say that life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. Well, ours just expanded after a thrilling experience in Busiika, the home of Extreme Adventure Park where people test their commando skills.
We move as a pack, and we have a she-wolf in that pack, we all call her the ‘Plotter of Adventures’, she is the one who plots and fixes fun places to go to once every month. She fixes the budgets and coordinates the month’s adventure activity for the group. Without her genius, nothing happens. We don’t even know how she finds these cool places to go to, we stopped asking her and decided to focus on the adventure ahead. She never goes wrong, because at the end of each adventure, we leave happier than we started; talking about the fun and appreciating the value for money.
We are on a mission to encourage local tourism and it’s the very reason why most of our adventure destinations are within Uganda and occasionally out. Yes, we have appointed ourselves tourism ambassadors… Duh!!
Uganda is beautiful, with beautiful people, great weather, good food, fresh fruits, happy people and the list goes on and on, no surprise it was voted one of the countries in the world with the friendliest people. I hope you all read that. Unlike some of our neighbors, we are quite accommodating, communicate easily and have lots of sunshine that keeps people happy throughout the year. We do have a couple of things not to be proud of, like the potholes in the City and the boda-boda infestation, but there is so much to celebrate and love about this small country. The ‘Pearl of Africa’ didn’t come as a mistake. It is a well deserving description.
So, our she wolf decided that the thrill activity for January 2017 was to get into formation by testing our ninja-ness and she suggested that we head to Busiika. Her reason was that the very first activity for the year was crucial, given that all those that were to follow in the course of the year required some guts, courage and some Ninja skills. (Wait for the blogs for the next month activities). None of us had ever heard of Busika or knew where it was located. Like, I stated, no one questions her choice because we trust her so much in this field of adventure. We were briefed about the requirements, dress code, costs and location.
With not so much to expect, we hit the road on the Saturday morning of 22nd Jan and after 40km north of Kampala, we arrived at the adventure park which is adjacent to the Uganda biker Association’s training grounds. At 8:42 am, even if we were too early, the sight of the ropes, strings and ladders before us that would define the stages of our day’s challenge got us excited. We were amused at how simple and obvious everything looked and swore that we would be done in the next 2 hours. I guess we were overly ambitious and made the judgment too fast.
At 10:05, the guides came through and requested us to make our payments before the briefing and wearing of safety gear. 60,000Ugx per person please, said Badru the lead guide. We dug into our purses and cleared the bills. A receipt was given to the she wolf.
We were quickly taken through the safety measures and guided on how to accomplish each challenge. I took lead and the pressure was so much on me to accomplish each task as I had 8 more people following me. At the end of each stage, there was a great reward of a sweet slide. We all looked forward to that part.
There were three stages in total; all the nine of us accomplished the first two. The real thrill and challenge came at level 3 which commences with climbing a 5-7 metre “rock wall” which drains all the energy in your upper arms, the same energy required for the other stages at level three. Only 6 people opted to attempt the 3rd level. Being the first to go at level three, the pressure to lead once again was overwhelming. I climbed that wall breathing like an athlete who had just completed a half marathon.
As I progressed to the other levels of stage three, I kept on looking back and seeing my ninjas being eliminated one at a time. It was not funny and it drained me. The more I progressed, the bigger the number being eliminated grew until they were all gone. This did not derail them; they turned to cheer me on and encourage me to complete the challenge on behalf of the entire group. Saying that it was tough, would an under statement, I was drained and felt weaker at every level but the support and cheers kept me going. I had to complete that challenge not for myself but for the group. I really had no choice.
Long story cut short, I completed the challenge and was awarded a prestigious certificate with all sorts of commando flattering words. However, for me, it was humbling to see a team spirit and friends supporting each other and wishing me the very best. We left Busiika happy with plans of going back so that the rest can conquer level 3 and get their certificates as well.
Like Eleanor Roosevelt once said, the purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. That’s exactly what our plan is this 2017. Many thanks to Olive our She wolf, she leads our pack and we follow.
Ps: Look out for the blog on our Feb. Adventure on Water rafting