Tuesday, March 13, 2007

On a Clear Day…

As promised, I have the makings of an amazing blog posting from my trip to Hoima a week and a half ago. Hoima is a district in Western Uganda; it borders on Lake Albert and the Democratic Republic of Congo on the west. From the cliffs at the lake shore, you can see across to the Blue Mountains of Congo on a clear day: breathtaking. On a hazy day, you see haze. I did not make it to the lake during my visit, so I’m not sure why I’m taking about it. I went to visit the village I called home for three year, Bulindi. I wrote about most of my weekend adventure in a previous post, and I do not want to be redundant, so most of this post will be the photos I took during my journey. (In the Disaster Strikes Back post, I described my digital camera ordeal. No, it is still not working. I was, however, able to salvage the photos saved on the disk.)

Cooking with kerosene is something that I do not miss. Carrying the gas can to the petrol station was SO much fun, as was the the stench of the fluid you had to carry with you on your journey back to the village.

I enjoy cooking, and I got pretty good at making tasty food with next to nothing. In the dry season, the only vegetables that can be found in the village (and then if you are lucky) are tomatoes and onions. Man, I love rain.

Can you see my two little visitors peering through the window?

Bujumbura Catholic Cathedral.

Innocent and I, could we be any happier? He's such a good kid. See his Puerto Rico shirt. Melissa and I tried to turn him into are real Boriqua. Like I know anything about that. But the shirt looked nice.

In Hoima, just outside of town, travelling a dusty road on a motorbike. In Peace Corps, there were not allowed. In fact, I hear that one of the current volunteers is about to be or was just sent home for being spotted on the back of a motorcycle when visiting Kampala. Boda-bodas (as they are called locally) can be very convenient, but they multiply the traffic problem in the city, and drivers are too wreckless making them a dangerous option. You can see my green shirt in the mirror's reflection in the bottom of the photo. Yes, I'm daring.

Being in the village is not excuse for neglecting personal hygiene.

A common mode of transportation upcountry.

On the road again. This was my machine for three year. Not this exact one, but one like it. The Hero bike is H-E-A-V-Y and a piece of crap until you replace all the orginal pieces with spares, then it becomes and indestructable machine that can carry unimaginable loads: firewood, car batteries, goats, pigs. I made a wind chime from the old parts of my Hero. 30-60km per day on one of these beasts gives one really great legs.

Sittin' on top of the world. We used to joke about phone reception in the village and say that the only place to get network was standing on top of a termite mound with your arms extended. Sadly, that is not far from the truth. In one location, a clever entrepreneur built a high stand (almost like a deer stand) and charged a fee for you to climb it to use your phone. It was the only place to receive a bar of network, so he came out a winner.

A simple kind of life.


Dave2 said...

Speaking of nice-looking shirts... may I just say how utterly dashing you look in your Bad Monkey T-Shirt?


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