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Showing posts from December, 2009

Matooke Christmas

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(Not our tree, but you get the idea)



Christmas is now past and New Year’s is right around the corner. When I decided to stay in Uganda for Christmas I knew that it would be nothing if not memorable. I wasn’t sure what would happen, but a wanted to take the chance to experience as close as I could to a traditional Ugandan Christmas. I don’t know whether I got that or not, but it was definitely a Christmas I’ll remember for a long time.

The lead up to Christmas I covered in the last couple posts, the important part is basically that the week leading up to Christmas was awesome and the week before that was pretty awful. I woke up on the 23rd to an email in my inbox from my Dad, which is always great. He was letting me know that I got a little visit from Santa (luckily my Pops had my forwarding address), and my family decided to all chip in and finance me to screw around in Africa for a few more months. How could the day get any better? Candy, that’s how. An hour or so later my roommates c…

My life such as it is

It's been a busy couple weeks with very little time around the ol' computer, so I've kind of continued the downward spiral on blogging. Beyond simply being busy, I have noticed that lately my mental capacities seem to be in decline, and I seem to spend a disproportionate amount of my time staring at walls. I had heard that this is normal (not the wall staring but the mental decline), considering this is the first time I've spent a full year away from structured learning since I learned to count. My experience may be a bit exacerbated by the fact that at the same time I have been forced to go cold turkey on a pretty crippling case of Internet Inspired ADD. When I arrived here, it took the epitome of effort to do only 2 or 3 things at once. Thankfully, with a lot of dedicated noneffort and hard nonwork, I made it to the other side.

I can now comfortably say that I could hold my own with the best of them in a do-nothing contest. Sit in the shade and eat sweet fruits? Done.…

Kampala at its Best and Rafting the Nile

The last week has been nice and busy and really fun, one of the best I've had here. My friend from college Erin has been doing PeaceCorps in Kenya for the last year or so and came to visit last week. Before this organization was anything, it was me and Erin and a few others sitting around in coffee shops and talking about microfinance, so it was cool to have her here to see what she contributed to creating. We then went to Kampala for a meeting with the business school to talk about getting interns, which was very successful and promising. It was a good meeting, one of the great (though somewhat rare) instances where I feel like a real adult who is actually accomplishing something of note and not just eating mangoes in the shade. We made our pitch, they seemed to buy into it, everyone was happy.

Since we had the whole team together in Kampala for the first time, I took them for a night out in Kampala to meet The Doctor. We are lucky any time we are fortunate enough to get some of h…

The nice thing about San Francisco...

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is that it's pretty close to Santa Barbara.



And Santa Barbara, my friends, is very nice. Especially when my former home is getting buried in snow.


(A few years old, but you get the idea)

Enjoy the winter, suckers. I'm gonna go fly a kite with my big bro.





This whole gay thing

I've been getting all kinds of articles emailed to me about the anti-gay bill Uganda is talking about. Obviously it's extreme and obviously I think it's wrong. I'm not going to make some political statement, because I think it's kind of a trite argument to make- We're good and right, they're wrong and backwards I think is the basic premise. Maybe Pat will write about it since he needs something other than watching the Pacific Northwest rain to fill his time, and talking politics is probably more up his alley anyway. Anyway, to kind of understand where this thing is coming from you have to understand that society as a whole takes a different stance on homosexuality. The following is taken from the 3rd most read daily newspaper in Uganda, the Red Pepper:

"We have Homos in Cabinet"
-Top Bumshafter Ssebagala Reveals Who Plays Side B

The homos in Uganda have gone on rampage and are now making daring claims that some of their members are cabinet ministers.…

African time is there

I am beginning to worry about my employability when I get back home. It's possible that I may have picked up some habits that won't transfer well to the corporate world. A little window into my life these days:

My phone clock is the only watch I own. The other night one of my roommates picked up my phone to check the time. He was a little perturbed to find that apparently my watch is 45 minutes slow. "How do you function and do things on time," he asked. I guess I just hadn't noticed.

Apparently he thought this issue warranted further consideration because the next morning we had the following conversation:

Brad: "Remember a few days ago when we both set our alarms for like 5am for that basketball game, but I ended up having to wake you up?"
Me: "Yea, I set my alarm for the same time as yours but it didn't go off for some reason..."
Brad: "That's because your clock is 45 minutes slow you idiot."
Me: " I don't know, I guess…

Home again, home again

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I always thought this might be true, but it's a tough statement to back up.


(The Sisters, as seen from Mt. Bachelor)

And yet, having had the good fortune of being able to travel a bit in my young life, I'm starting to get more and more confident in my suspicions.


(The Woods, outside my Parents' Front Door)

So I'm just gonna go right out there and say it.


(Some certain Lake, in some certain Crater)

If you wanted to make a list of the best places in the world, Oregon has to be near the top. Call me a homer if you want to, but it's true.


(The Coast, south of Lincoln City)

Luke, I'm not telling you to hurry back. Stay as long as you can, I'll take good care of your car while you're gone. But when you do decide it's time to come back, and you're sitting in the airport reminiscing about all the great times you had in Africa, barGAINing, handling human waste and eating any little creature that crawls within your grasp, just remember this:


(20% chance of ra…

Malaria Dreams, Come to Life

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Why yes, that is a 40-foot statue of Babe the Blue Ox. I'm sorry if you've been driving for hours and thought that you might be having a malaria-flashback hallucination, but that's how we get the tourists to stop.


(Notice the little boy appreciating Babe's "virility")

Anyhoo, now that we've got you here, wouldn't you like to buy some Authentic Redwood Carvings(c), made from local, sustainably-harvested cedar? No? You're sure? Well you go ahead and have yourself a nice day. Drive safe now.




(Already can't decide if the Ox was real, or was a result of all the acid he took in the 60s)

What a strange country.