Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Myth of the Night Dancers, Abasezi

The Myth of the Night Dancers, Abasezi

Seeing this amazing show one time just was not enough, so I was back at the National Theatre again tonight for a second dose.

The dance company, Tabu Flo, put together the best dance performance I think I've ever seen, and I'd argue that it was probably the best show I've seen put on at the National Theatre. The choreography was incredible. Tabu Flo have been praised for their seamless blend of hip-hop and African dance. The dancers put their heart and soul into the show and wove an enchanting story without having to speak a word. Along side the dancers, I think the lighting technician was one of the stars of the show. I have never seen lighting done so well in Kampala. I was entertained from start to finish and was left wanting more.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Watchword: Polygamy

Watchword: Polygamy

Lynne and I watch The 19th Wife today and loved it. It disturbed and inspired a good bit of conversation. The 19th Wife in many ways was your typical Lifetime film: woman in conflict finds strength and comes out a survivor in the end. This film was recommended to me by a friend last month, but the copy I was loaned would not play in my laptop or in Lynne's dvd player. Unfortunately, I lost the copy of the dvd, so I ordered a new one from along with the book, The 19th Wife, on which the film is based. Now I've been able to view the film, and the book is on my summer reading list. David Ebershoff, the author of The 19th Wife, should be pleased that the film did send me to the book, and I will have a chance to get to know his Jordan along with is boyfriend, Tom, and their dogs, Elektra and Joey.

After viewing the film, we began season 1 of Big Love. (My life has become quite thematic lately.) What a contrasting portrayal of polygamy in modern America! In contrast with the sympathy we felt for the wives in The 19th Wife, episode one of Big Love sparked our sympathy for Bill Paxton's Bill Henrickson. We did not make it past episode today. I also bought season 2 of the HBO series. Along with Glee season 2 and Gossip Girl season 4, Big Love is on my summer viewing list.

Friday, June 24, 2011

You Blink and You Miss

You Blink and You Miss

Lower you eye lids to moisten you eyeballs for only and moment, and the world changes. Hmmm... or is it pretty much on repeat? Same characters. Similar stories. A few surprises sprinkled in. Ever so entertaining. Maybe I got that wrong. Is the world changing or are we stuck in a primetime sitcom?

  • Britney releases an incredible new video for one of the best dance tracks she's ever produced.

Spiked boots, skull donning Mousketeer ears, fuck-you attitude and all: Britney's on top and in top form in this clip, inspiring the taking on of one's freak tonight like no one else can.

"Together with his peers, they arrived at the mobile clinic as early as 8am in the morning to halfheartedly give it a try."

Going for male medical circumcision is one of those Master Yoda "Do or do not. There is no try." moments. Once that little calamari ring is cut off the peen, it's done. There's no, "Well, I tried it and don't like it. I would like to exchange it for my original."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

On Books and Circumcision

On Books and Circumcision

If you check my book list on the sidebar of this blog, you will see that I just finished reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Oh shit! That's what I have to say about that.

I really hope that Mockingjay is in the library tomorrow.

Tonight I started One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. So far so good; I've already laughed out loud, and I've not reached 50 pages. Linda Sue Park calls this book "a rarity: a book that is both important in its contents and utterly engaging in its characters... with the tremendous bonus of being beautifully written." Beautifully written indeed:

They call it littering when you carelessly drop things. They call the careless folks who drop things by a cute name: litterbug.

There's nothing cute about dropping things carelessly. Dropping garbage and having puppies shouldn't be called the same thing. "Litter." I had a mind to write Miss Webster about that. Puppies don't deserve to be called a litter like they had been dropped carelessly like garbage. And people who litter shouldn't be given a cute name for what they do. And at least the mother of the litter sticks around and nurses her pups no matter how sharp their teeth are. Merriam Webster was falling down on the job. How could she have gotten this wrong?

Not so beautifully written: this blog. What else? Well most newspaper articles I read. Unfortunately, most of the good writers save their stuff for wall posts on facebook. (Go figure.) Regardless of the quality of the writing, the stories can be quite interesting, or at least amusing, and often still informative. Medical male circumcision is hot news these days,

and I guess it should be considering the affect it has on reducing the risk of HIV infection (60%). However there are other risks involved with this reduction of risk:
And that my friends is one of the negative consequences of miseducation or lack of education in general.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

No Mistaking

No Mistaking

There's no mistaking that Ms. Spears is on top and she's hot, bitch.

(My new motivation for working on the abs!)

If Rolling Stone says so then, I'm going to accept it as the Bible truth; it's been my holy book for over 20 years now. And since I will not be in the US this summer, thus, missing Brit Brit's tour, I'm just going to have to take their word for it. I loved it when they compared Britney to Bob Dylan, next they said that Blackout was "possibly the most influential pop album in the last five years," and then there was the recent review that referred to Britney as avant garde. Oh, Rolling Stone, now I'm blushing.

But you don't have to simply take mine nor Rolling Stone's word for it. YouTube is on fire with footage of Britney's recent Femme Fatale tour launch in Sacramento, California.

Besides using up the GBs of my internet subscription today viewing Britney concert footage, I attended the school's swimming gala at Royal Suites. You could not have asked for sunnier weather. However, when the event was over, and the children left, almost instantaneously, the weather turned.

Betty, William and I were stuck under the shelter of the pool bar. Luckily, Uganda's champion barista, Mark Okuta, is employed by Royal Suites and provided us with hot beverages as we waited out the cold winds and torrential rains of the storm.

And then there was boda-boda polo. I couldn't make it this morning due to the gala, but I cannot fail to acknowledge the battling beauties who took to the field.

Now that's what I call super sexy!

Friday, June 17, 2011



Let's see...

This evening I went to the opening of a new exhibition at Afriart Gallery called Wear or Dare. I choose dare.

I also read this article from yesterday's online edition of The New Vision. (I know. I keep asking myself why I keep reading it, too.)

Reverse discrimination, you say?

Well, let's pretend I'm a banker reviewing your application for a loan.

Hmmm... Who is this Salim Saleh? Let me do a quick google search...


Now seriously, why do you think the banks are dodging?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

When It's Not There

When It's Not There

When I was little and we used to plead with our mother to buy something for us using the argument, "It's cheap; it's only a dollar." She would smile and simply say, "Everything's expensive you don't have money."

And with no money, all 45 of the teacher colleges in Uganda closed this week. Reading this news made me very sad. I wish it could be said that considering the abundance of high-quality teachers happily employed and doing a GREAT job providing top-knotch education to young people the country over, including the rural area, there is no cause for alarm. I wish I did not feel so cynical and could think that the situation will quickly be resolved and it is not a disaster. But the reality is fighter jets and the likes.

This really makes me sad. Many dedicated educators, parents, communities have sacrificed so much--blood, sweat and tears if you will--to improve the access and quality of education for children in Uganda. Dedicated teachers in numerous (if not most) schools have carried on in overcrowded and under-resourced classrooms day in and day our for many, many years. The teacher colleges receive less than a dollar a day per student enrolled to cover student needs, including meals. Well, not when there are 420 million shilling cars (notice the plural) that need to be bought.

Yesterday the Ugandan shilling weakened again, to what is being referred to as an all-time low. I don't know if that's an exaggeration, but I do know that despite driving my rent down (yay!), it's going to send the price of just about everything even higher (boo!). It's beginning to get crazy. I seriously do not know how some people get by each day.

In more-upbeat news from Uganda, there was a central total lunar eclipse last night.

I totally swiped this photo from a neighbour's facebook page because my camera is not capable of snapping such shots. I'm so happy that I did not miss out on this. Thanks, i, for the kind reminder at 7:30. Although it did not begin here until just after 10:00pm. It was a bit cloudy in Bugolobi, so at times I was not sure if I was seeing an eclipse or cloud cover. But when the moonlight was gone, there was no mistaking what it was.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011



Well, it looks like others are just as determined to not let it happen.

Priorities. Priorities. Priorities.

When this shit and this shit and this shit (beware, the photo with the linked article is disturbing) are going on...

One might be provoked to employ the fake Ugandan language invented for the Broadway stage and declare:

But them's fightin' words. Let's look at the bright side:

Anyone up for some retail therapy?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When Real Life's Getting More Like Fiction Each Day

When Real Life's Getting More Like Fiction Each Day

It seems to me that someone was groping around for a story, but all Dennis Ojwee ended up grasping was:

Just when you thought it was safe again to travel to Northern Uganda. Kony may be gone, but the snakes have found there way in, and they're not looking to make any friends.

So, if after watching Book of Mormon: The Musical (which, by the way, just won nine Tony Awards), you have a hankering for visiting Uganda, and if your plans include a visit to Acholiland, be sure the bring along your black stone... And if you forget, don't worry, I know where you can buy a nice one for a good price.

But if you truly believe, aren't you supposed to be immune to the snake's venom?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

30 Years and We Need More Angels

30 Years and We Need More Angels

Today, I found the most exciting news of the year, month, week, day, hour, minute, second right here. Love it. Love it. Love it. It makes the world a better place.

A lot of effort is given everyday by many to make the world a better place. For more than 30 years now, a tremendous amount of money, other resources, time, effort, love has been put into combating the reality of AIDS.

Thirty years.

I recently bought the dvd of the HBO production of Angels in America. I've never seen it before. I began watching it last week with a friend, but ended up falling asleep. Not that the show was boring, but we began watching it pretty late, I'd had a long day, and I simply could not stay awake. I'm giving it a second go with another friend right now as I blog. We're on part two.

I guess the timing is appropriate, considering the subject matter of the play. (The script is fantastic, by the way.) I remember seeing highlights from the original Broadway production on E, when E was new and pretty much only showed movie previews and broadway news. The scene of the encounter between the drag queen homosexual and the young Mormon woman is an amazing one that really made a humourous impact on my young teenaged mind.


The play was written almost twenty years old, yet the script and issues addressed are no less powerful. My friend and I are talk, talk, talking. By the way, Mary Loiuse Parker is an amazing actress.

I know, it just seemed like the kinda thing a mentally-deranged, sex-starved, pill-popping housewife would do.

Ok, we just finished part two. Oh, my. The final scenes of abandonment and betrayal: heartbreaking.

More to come, I'm sure.

There's so much in life that tears us down and makes us feel less than (fill in blank). Why add to that? Why not do the opposite?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Difference Between Neighbours

The Difference Between Neighbours

One of my favourite Dolly tunes is Two Doors Down.

It reminds me of road trips with Holly and Dana, especially those regular late evening commutes between White City and Marianna.

Proximity is not an indicator of behaviour. What goes on in one home may be very different than what is going on two doors down, or even just next door. For instance, take Uganda and Kenya. The responses of the two governments to the situation of soaring prices of food and fuel are very different. When one leader insists that there is nothing his government can do to stop the skyrocketing prices, the equivalent leaders next door assure citizens that measures are being taken to cushion them from increased food and fuel prices.

In Uganda, citizens get, "If prices have gone up, this is good."

Is what is good for the goose good for the gander?

The answer is, yes, when inquiring about vitamin B, and by vitamin B, I mean Britney Spears.

It looks amazing. Sadly, I'm not visiting the US this summer, so no Femme Fatale for me.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Lake Albert Cycle Safari

Lake Albert Cycle Safari

This weekend's journey to Lake Albert was super fantastic. Originally, I'd looked forward to spending the three-day weekend doing as little as possible in order to catch up on some well-dervered rest after the pretty event-intensive weeks/weekends I've been having. However, I could not pass up on such a golden opportunity as to be able to a) go to Hoima; b) cycle to Lake Albert; c) visit the Lake Albert Safari Lodge. A golden opportunity, I mean this trip had my name written all over it from its inception.

So now it's another Sunday night on the brink of exhaustion, but the memories gained make it all worth it.

We were a team of eight, braving the journey together, which turned out to be excellent for me since I don't know a damned thing about bikes, and I had three punctures on the almost-72 kilometer journey (on within the first five minutes!). I was pedaling on a borrowed bike, so there are few small repairs to complete before returning it.

The views on the route to Lake Albert are absolutely amazing, not exactly what you'd expect to see in Uganda. I shared my photos with a Ugandan friend tonight, and he was surprised by the geography of the area. That is one of the fantastic attributes of Uganda, there are many diverse environments in such a small country.

Also amazing at Lake Albert:

The sunsets!

While the wildlife might not have been too unique, what was unique was the proximity you could get to it.

My favourite component of any journey is great conversation with great people, and we had no shortage of it. I am so fortunate to have so many very interesting people from very diverse backgrounds in my life. The perspectives on the many issues we discussed were just as diverse. I was a bit of a Debbie-downer the last night at the lake as I did not join the crew at the campfire for the evening shooting of the breeze. Instead, I opted for an early bedtime, which I greatly appreciate at the moment.

Another highlight of the trip: doing little on Saturday but lounge, sleep and read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games is a post-apocolyptic The Lord of the Flies meets Survivor. I, like Stephen King, thought it was violent and jarring and 'couldn't put stop reading'. I also agree with John Green of The New York Times and think that the book was 'Brilliantly plotted and perfectly paced.' It was very disturbing. I don't want to spoil the story for anyone, so I'll say I never thought the Games would ever begin; I had a whole other idea for where it would head.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Cow Needs a Wife

The Cow Needs a Wife

Back in February, I had the opportunity and pleasure of watching a rough stage production of Angella Emurwon's play, The Cow Needs a Wife. It was performed in a small semi-theatre with horrible acoustics, and some actors still used their scripts, but it was a thoroughly enjoyed show. Angie's script is very clever and quite hilarious.

About four months later, The Cow Needs a Wife made it's debut tonight at the Uganda National Theatre, and I attended it with a group of friends. The production was polished up, included sound effects, a better set, and an amended cast (so glad Richard Obonyo was given a chance to shine in the lead role--a fine actor and a great guy to work with).

Below are some details about the play.

The Cow Needs a Wife
by Angie Emurwon
Winner of Third Prize in the 2010 BBC African Performance Playwriting Competition

Set in rural Uganda, The Cow needs a Wife is the story of young Mamboleo who finds himself under pressure to raise money to buy a cow so he can pay a dowry (bride price) to his girlfriend’s family. In this endeavour he enlists the help of his wealthy Uncle Motoka, but almost immediately after buying his cow the prospective bride refuses to marry him! His family insists that he find a replacement as he cannot have the cow without getting married......... and so unfolds a series of hilarious events in his quest for a bride.

The 1986 Nobel Prize Winner for Literature, Wole Soyinka who presided over the 2010 BBC African Performance Playwriting Competition, described it as, ‘ of the zaniest plays I have ever encountered.... I loved its sense of mischief, its light-heartedness.... I thought it was a successful comedy.

If you are in the Kampala area, I highly recommend catching one of the few remaining performances.

If you are not fortunate enough to be in Kampala, sorry. You can listen to a production of The Cow Needs a Wife (originally written as a radio play) on

Tomorrow's the beginning of a long journey: cycling from Hoima town to the Lake Albert Safari Lodge. Once again I'll be away from internet for a while, so no blogging.:-( But there will be wonderful tales to tell when I get back. :-)