Lake From the Lake (Bunyonyi 2005)

This is the fifth instalment of a weekly series that marks 20 years of Edirisa and 10 years of the Gorilla Highlands Initiative. Click here for Part I.

Hello, all you wonderful humans! For those of you who do not know or remember me, I am the absolutely lovely daughter of one Miha Logar and one Pamela Kanyunyuzi, distinguished as their eldest child. I was born in 2005 so my dad thought it would be poetic (or some other fancy word) for me to talk about Edirisa in this particular year, as well as my life from then on. My parents claim that many people associate the organisation with me, that I am some kind of biological clock marking the passage of time, as we grew and changed together through the years. Moving on …

2005 is an especially amazing year because, well, after all, (shocker) it was the year I showed up on this planet! Brought into existence! Spawned! Conceived! (Editor’s note: our writer attends a Christian school with limited sex education so she might honestly not know that if you are delivered in May, the year of conception was the previous one).

Do you remember Enya as a baby or as a kid?

This was the beginning of the delightful existence of one of the most ridiculous individuals I have ever met, myself. Now, this life-changing/starting event took place on the 14th day of the fifth month of the year, in the middle of the night on the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains in western Uganda! Funnily enough, I don’t remember any of this but I’ll just assume the experience was magical for everyone else involved, especially for my awesome mum who delivered me! (Editor’s note: she surely was relieved when Enya decided to finally make an entrance, as an emergency Cesarian was already considered.)

So yeah, I was born, or as my dad says “popped out”, in the middle of the night to everyone’s surprise! Therefore, as is usual for babies who just join humanity, I needed a name! And what an interesting name I got! If you didn’t know or hear my daddy practically bragging about it at some point during your time with him then I’ll be glad to enlighten you. My name Enyanja, meaaans — drum roll please, tatatatatatata! — LAKE!

Enya’s first nights in Fort Portal

Astonishingly, my dad’s friend Festo Karemera told him my name was wrong. According to this authority on the Rukiga language, an individual couldn’t just be “lake”, you could only be Kenyanja, somebody of the lake. This little detail obviously didn’t stop my dad. And so, there you have it — thanks to Miha Logar’s love of nature, I was given the unique name, unofficially shortened to Enya (instead of Kenya). More specifically, my name was inspired by the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi, where Edirisa’s headquarters and my first home were situated.

Enya’s mother very careful on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi

I say my first home, because although I was born in Fort Portal where my mother’s mother, my Jjaja, was available to help with the screaming little newcomer, Bunyonyi has always been the place that I associate with home. Even later on when I stayed at Nkozi where Edirisa ran its third location. Even later on when I moved to Kampala because of my educational needs. Even now that I live in Musanze, Rwanda, due to a cool American international school. Bunyonyi and Edirisa have been such a large part of my childhood that it’s hard to think of them as anything but home.

Two minutes from Edirisa Video Smiles, a longer video covering 2005-2006

In the same year of 2005, my parents married in Kasenda, my mother’s village of origin close to Fort Portal. As you will see in the video clip, Mom and I were given a surprise welcome after we travelled the six hours to Bunyonyi in the southwest of Uganda. Edirisa’s volunteers had performed a total makeover of the simple mud-and-timber house that was to host us. If you know the Flower House, remember that it was named because of my mother’s passion for flowers, and the international team painted them all over. (Editor’s note: the great work was done by Brigita Paar, Luka Kotnik, Johanna Benedict, Martin Aijuka Depories, Matej and Mateja Kokalj Kokot, and Tadeja Kolar. The last three listed were the first volunteer medical team that ran a clinic at Bufuka Primary School — their presence certainly helped the young parents’ peace of mind.)

At The Home of Edirisa in Kabale Town, with Daddy and Eva Marn

I can only imagine what the first year of my life must have been like for everyone who had to deal with the new cute baby they were lovingly forced to deal with! My mum told me that 2005 was filled with excitement, joy, anxiousness, and learning all blended together! I was apparently always surrounded by people and basically everything revolved around me. Honestly, sometimes when I listen to my mum talking about me as a crying child, it kind of maybe sort of sounds like I was a bit spoilt and bit fussy … okay totally fussy. But I’m probably just overthinking things, as I tend to!
I was a very active baby who slept rather reluctantly, so you can probably guess what that meant for basically anyone taking care of me. In fact, my mother spent many hours most nights outside overlooking the lake with Tom, the super nice nightwatchman who would later host us on his island for New Year celebrations.

Enya with her brother Lan

Still, the Edirisa team managed to get things done. They taught dozens of kids how to swim, successfully made the first version of The Bakiga documentary with Karwemera, prepared the very first canoe trek during which they discovered Mama Bena, and organised the first tour of Uganda. I take these achievements as proof that everybody got some sleep!

So many things began in 2005. It was the start of great things for Edirisa, as well as the introduction of this fabulous life I find myself living. If you are perhaps curious about my childhood through the years, you are welcome to check out my ultra-biased and questionably cringe-worthy blog I set up when I was twelve.

Enya’s brothers Maani and Lan playing football in front of their current home

I hope you all enjoyed my little summary of one year of Edirisa’s history and I wish you all a fabulous day!

Click here for Part VI of the series or check all Edirisa/Gorilla Highlands history stories out.

Responses

  1. Thank you Enya💖 ” The Edirisa baby”
    Serious emotions running here wow! And that video kills me. Forever grateful to the team that worked without reservations towards the remake of the flower house, I never got to thank you enough 🥰 “Kenyanza” (as Omugurusi Karwemara called you) was a big baby (4.5kg), it was such a relief when you popped naturally( as dad says haha) but being a big baby was a blessing in disguise for it made it easy for me ( first time mom) to hold you, carry you without you slipping out of my arms. And continued to develop super fast that at 1 year she could speak a number of words pretty clear. Enya was such a white baby that many people couldn’t believe me ( in my dark skin) was the much. So much so that one time while travelling on a bus with Eve Marn ( our Fair Trade expert from Slovenia) , fellow travellers started saying I was breast feeding her baby😂 And Enya is a staunch vegetarian now, I should mention that baby Enya was such a picky eater! Hope we can get to meet all the Edirisa guys that have been part of your life. Thank you again, well written 🥰

  2. Well this is really special. Thank you Enya for your unique point of view, exquisite teenage vocabulary and a great sense of humor 🙂
    As Pam said, the video brought back some serious emotions. I still consider those days a blessing and a real privilege to be a part of that story and to have met you all. Although Enya was still tiny and “fragile”, we can confirm, that she was in our hands quite often, and we felt really honored by Pam’s blind trust of complete strangers (then the new medical team). Enya, I really hope we haven broken you in any way, if we did, blame it on your parents for having such poor judgment 🙂

    Pam, as far as the remake goes… it was fun! We did the remake of our clinic (much smaller mudhouse ful of rats) a month before, so it was a natural progression for us to move to a housing project 🙂 If we would stay a bit longer we would probably shift to building a hospital, just to get our minds of everyday medical issues 🙂 Mostly it was much easier to fix a house than to treat people with limited equipment and drugs we had available. The makeover was a team effort (although Brigita and Luka were the criminal masterminds behind the whole operation), but Ana Kermavnar (our 4th medical member) was the one who was mainly responsible for the toilet’s new look. That wasn’t in the project’s blueprints at all, she completely went of the rails there, others joined naturally :-).

    I really hope we’ll see each other again. Until then I send you hugs and kisses from Slovenia. Miha and Pam, thank you again for letting us to be a part of that journey.
    And Enya… thanks for giving in to your dad’s poetic (and other fancy words) requests.
    Matej (and Mateja)

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