They seem to always be where you are, which is to say everywhere, as repellant and inescapable as a maelstrom of gnats. Step around one and you bump into another. You politely wave them off and mumble “no, thanks” with a disingenuous smile. Making eye contact might suggest interest or intent; or worse, invite confrontation. So you learn to ignore them. Faceless, nameless, spiritless ghosts you look right through and beyond. They don’t appear in travel magazine teaser shots or in the imaginations those...Continue Reading >>
Stories tagged with Uganda
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Poverty is a riot of inconsistencies and mysterious shades of complexity. Today, after a long week in the field, I’m wondering how anyone could possibly work their way out of the despair they inherited with birth when so many forces conspire against them, especially women.
Poverty is defined as a condition of unacceptable material deprivation, according to a particular society’s standards of what’s acceptable and what’s not. Poverty is widely acknowledged to be a multi-dimensional condition; however...Continue Reading >>
I came across a flier this morning that I found as humorous as I did frightening. I wanted to share it with you, perhaps deepening your insight into just one of the many day-to-day rituals of being a Kiva Fellow in the field. This is a sequel, of sorts, to my earlier blog. I promise to move away from (no pun intended) the transportation theme!
Public Transport in Uganda: Be aware. Be very aware!
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The 41 km road from the airport in Entebbe to Kampala is an endlessly spreading slum, the road choked with traffic and with boda-bodas and minibuses that serve as public transportation and which obey a vague set of driving rules. The banks of the road are littered with broken-down vehicles and garbage, and burning piles of garbage, and with ramshackle-looking developments. I can’t tell if they’re incomplete or if they’ve been left to deteriorate; every structure has heaps of sand and rocks and blocks surrounding it. The warm equatorial air is...Continue Reading >>
Everyone is this is room is an experienced traveler. Collectively, we’ve ventured to the farthest corners of the globe. Most have spent time in the developing world. Yet, the excitement level is off the charts as we prepare for our adventures. I’m humbled by the extraordinary company I find myself so privileged to among. The learning challenge surpasses my expectations; there’s so much to learn! This the type of volunteer challenge I’ve been seeking. One that satisfies a profound social mission while providing a meaningful life expereince and a rare...Continue Reading >>
Yesterday I was not in a fight, but rather saw my first fight in Uganda. This fight was over a woman – me. However, it was not between jealous lovers. Rather, the fight was between two taxi drivers vying for my fare.
In Kampala, if one doesn’t have a car or is too scared to drive (me), there are two other forms of transportation to get around. One option is to take a boda-boda which is a motorcycle. The other option is to take a matatu which is a shared van that...Continue Reading >>
Each morning before heading into the field, I read the New Vision, a daily newspaper in Kampala. A few weeks ago there was a special article about a town in Uganda in which the men do nothing but drink, gamble and nurse their hangovers while the women work and tend to the house, children and their needy husbands. The article speculated that the men needed therapy to deal with their lack of motivation resulting from the extreme poverty they are living in.
Upon mentioning the article to my...Continue Reading >>
So much has happened since I last wrote that I feel it is necessary to cover three topics in this entry. For my friends who have inquired about Kampala, I wanted to speak more about the city. In addition, I have officially started work and have been in the field on several occasions, piquing my interest and desire to share information on both the loan officers at MCDT and the amazing women I have met. Please bear with me…
Kampala has completely surprised me. I realize now that unlike my last trip...Continue Reading >>
Upon arrival in Entebbe (the airport for Kampala is actually in Entebbe, the old capital city which is 45 minutes from Kampala), I knew I was definitely back in Africa. It wasn’t because as a white woman I was in the minority, but rather it was the smell. On the drive to Kampala and my hotel, I was trying to figure out how to describe the smell and all I could come up with was the following: the smell is akin to driving in the country past a bonfire in which the burning scent fills your car and your nose. Yes, Africa...Continue Reading >>