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This past week a miracle occurred at the ministry of energy in Uganda – they agreed to be filmed and interviewed for documentarian Eli Reichman’s Nile story. Finally putting an end to speculation and confusion about the flooding of the Nile, one of the officers in the ministry of energy said on camera that Ismiba Dam’s construction was running enough behind schedule that the dam would not be finished until the end of 2018. This is thrilling news to all paddlers and lovers of the Nile! Earlier in the week had been a roller coaster of news as many assumed flooding would be May and the Hairy Lemon would be closing mid – April, and now – thankfully we will get to enjoy this amazing wild part of the Nile and the magical Hairy Lemon through August – maybe longer if we are lucky!

The last 5 weeks in Uganda have been melancholic for me thinking about the Nile changing so drastically. When you are sitting on the Hairy Lemon listening to the river and all the wilds beasties that call the island home, its almost impossible to think that this won’t be here in all its natural splendor and beauty! For me personally, it has been a refuge for the last 14 years! With Soft Power Health being as busy as it is and has gotten, I have always treasured my Hairy Lemon escape! I could come surf some of the best waves in the world and immerse myself in the world away from the responsibility and stresses of work – even if just for the weekend. It has been essential to re-charging my batteries, and interestingly, it has become a safe haven for all kinds of creatures as well. Lately, endangered species such as pangolins have called it home.

With the news of dam construction delayed, we have more time to surf Nile Special, Club wave, Bell and Tusker! Even with more time, I still very cognizant that the opportunities here on the river won’t go on forever so now really is the time to make the most of it and every surf session seems extra special.

Today on a rainy Sunday, I had my first real surf session with Stephen and Clay, who are here for a month this winter. It was really fun to paddle with them again on Nile waves. Clay and I came here for the first time 15 years ago – I almost can’t believe that – and I have been here every year since then! I feel so lucky for that. Now getting to paddle with Stephen and Clay, I feel like we have all had a lot of Nile Miles under our belt, but every time you go out there it’s a completely new and different experience which is one of the reasons that people love to come here and paddle! It’s incredibly fun and its challenging in all the right ways too! Almost no matter what the level is, you have the opportunity to do something fun or try something new! There is always stuff to learn and try and It never disappoints. With this good news, we can take a deep breath and enjoy the Nile and all it has to offer for a little while longer.