We are lying peacefully in our grassy hut when we are startled by a crackling sound that gets louder and louder…
We get up and are frightened. The fire is only about 10m away from our guest cottage “Mar”.
We immediately approach our guard, who looks and says that the fire cannot come because there is a way in between.
Yes, he is right, with the way and fortunately the wind is not in our direction.
But flying sparks are still dangerous and are completely underestimated by the Ugandans. They consider such fires to be controllable. 3 years ago David’s mother’s hut burned down and a few days ago the entire harvest was destroyed by church members. It is predominantly hunters who startle animals with fire in order to hunt them. Every year huts burn and people die. At the end of the dry season, it burns all around us, although burning is officially prohibited.
Our guard goes back to his shelter. “I’ll be there in case something happens.” Petra is overtired and tries to sleep while I stay awake with all the knowledge of the dangers. I watch how the wind turns, the smoke sometimes comes in our direction. Like sparks when the fire catches a bush. I follow the development of fire attentively. After 2 hours it is so far away that I think we are safe. 4 hours later I still hear the crackling from afar. Our cabins are intact.
The good thing, for this year we have peace, because closer to it can not burn anymore.