ABCNews’ Digital Reporter Dana Hughes is based in Nairobi, Kenya. She reports on her recent trip to Rwanda with Cynthia McFadden. Read Cynthia’s account here. Ok, so I will start with this confession: I am not an outdoor person. I don’t like camping, hiking, bugs, getting dirty–basically all of the aspects that come with "being one" with nature. However, seeing as I am ABC’s permanent presence in Africa, a continent filled with nature stories like Rwanda’s gorillas, I’m learning to put aside my love of creature comforts for the good of the story. But saying so doesn’t make it easy. Originally, I was supposed to be the accompanying cameraperson filming our trip to the gorillas, while Themis, a local cameraman, would continue to act as our fixer and translator. But after about 15 minutes at the tourist grounds, Cynthia took one look at me struggling to hold the camera as I walked up a relatively small hill and said, "I have an idea. I think we should have Themis shoot today and you just concentrate on producing." And what a good idea that was! Except it didn’t quite work out the way she planned. Yes, Themis did an excellent job with the shooting, but instead of concentrating on producing, I became more focused on staying upright in the mud. The first sign of trouble came when I lost my shoe. Our tour guide Eli warned us the trail was "a bit muddy," but I had no idea that meant calf-deep mud holes in many places. All the advertisements to see the gorillas call the journey a "walk," therefore I had on my very comfortable and fashionable sneakers–the kind you trek around Soho in, not the mountains. My foot stepped in and out of one of those mud holes, but my shoe didn’t make it out. Next thing I know I’m standing in the mud in my white socks, while the guards, who are supposed to be protecting us, are fishing my shoe out of the mud. After that it was all downhill, or should I say uphill, with me frequently falling down. My once favorite "in the field" shoes, became my nemesis. Their fashionable exterior caked with watery mud soaking through to my toes, and the shoes’ lack of traction turning them essentially into skis. Like any inexperienced skier I was wiping out–all the time. At one point I even took down Eli! Then just when I thought I couldn’t take any more mud the news came that the muddy part of the journey was over. "Thank God," I thought. Eli told us the gorillas had changed position and we would be making a new path to meet them. He pointed upwards towards the top of mountain and signaled that was where we were going. There was no trail, only thick bush and twigs. He said we’d be going up and then down what was tantamount to a cliff. I looked up and thought, for a moment, "Forget it. I can’t do it. I don’t care about the stupid gorillas. I don’t care about being a good producer. I can’t do it. I won’t do it." But of course, I did do it. I took a big breath and climbed up through the brush, and down the mountain (holding Eli’s hand the whole time while the porter said "slowly, slowly,") until we reached the gorillas. To be honest, at first I was so glad to get there, that I wasn’t that affected by seeing them. But then I watched this huge creature completely connect with Cynthia. One of the gorillas seemed to be copying her movements and playing peek-a-boo with her. And the babies: Like human toddlers getting into mischief, they climbed trees they couldn’t get out of, disobeyed their parents, fought with one another. I was overcome with this incredibly feeling of gratefulness. There are believed to be less than 800 mountain gorillas left in the world and here were 17, less than 10 feet away from me. Who gets to see that in their lifetime? Who gets to be a part of telling their story to the world? After our hour with them, Cynthia asked me, "Well, was it worth it?" And though it cost me some sweat, a few years off of my life and my favorite sneakers, it definitely was. Being in the presence of the gorillas reminded me that we are all just a small part of a greater world and that all beings, not just people, are connected. Somehow, on the way back, I didn’t fall once.