Showing posts from January, 2010


I am still alive and kicking around. I have been in Arusha, Tanzania for the last week visiting a friend and shedding the last vestiges of semi-employment. Life is great. It's warm and sunny, I have no worldly responsibilities anymore, and I'm meeting a ton of great new people. I couldn't really be any happier right now.

Out of nowhere, I kind of fell into the opportunity to go on a safari in the Serengetti and Ngorogoro Crater, two of the absolute best spots on the planet to see amazing animals. I came to Arusha to see Mary and Shannon, two friends of Caitlin who came to Mbale for Thanksgiving. I found out when I arrived that they were about to leave for a Safari with Shannon's stepmom that they'd been planning for months and months. In the kind of stroke of luck that seems to characterize my life these days, they had one extra spot. Hells Ya! In a further stroke of luck, apparently mid January is like the best time to see lots of animals in the Serengeti bec…

Remembering the Sun

...on a rainy winter afternoon. Anyone else interested in a little roasted goat? Maybe watch the sun set with a refreshing beverage?

(Yes please)

Monkey Tricks

(View from my bed, no elephants for us this time unfortunately)

After a night in Fort Portal we set off for Kibale. This one is really not a popular route, so the matatus in this case were normal sedans rather than vans. In typical fashion they crammed as many people in as humanly possible, so we were flying around on dirt roads in the mountains with 9 people in a Corola- including 2 in the driver's seat. We got to Kibale and checked into our guesthouse. We had reserved the"the tree house," sight unseen so we didn't really have any clue what to expect.

As we were checking in, the woman explained that "you might want to eat and shower before we show you to your room, because it's a kilometer away in the forest." Wow. The tree house was quite possibly the coolest place I have ever slept. It was nothing more than a simple hut perched on top of a tree, in the middle of the national park. No electricity, no water, no window panes, no problem. Did I mention it …

Good Bye Uganda

Today is my last full day in Uganda. It's really a trip to be leaving after spending the last almost-year of my life here, and sad to say goodbye to all the great friends I've made. My flight home left this morning, and I couldn't be happier with my decision not to be on it. It's a perfect day in Kampala, 90 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. I'm staying with my good friend Justus and we're going to go spend a few hours at the pool this afternoon before going out to dinner with some friends for my last night.I leave on a 22 hour bus ride Sunday afternoon for Nairobi, then Arusha, Tanzania to see a friend of Caitlin and Kilimanjaro. I just found out that my Tanzanian visa was stamped wrong and is good for a year rather than another week like I thought. I got a letter stating so from the Tanzanian High Commision, so I should be able to just stroll across the border without paying anything with some luck. Now that I have all this time to spend in Tanzania, I thin…

Southwest Uganda Ho!

(Not a bad place to spend a few days)

I visited Western Uganda this past week to kick off my traveling. We first went to Lake Bunyonyi, which is said to be the 2nd deepest lake in Africa (after Lake Tanganyika). It was very beautiful, but a little cold. We stayed at a really cool guesthouse on an island in the middle of the lake. Once we got the island it was all about relaxing, swimming in the reputedly bilharzia-free water and canoeing in local style canoes. Relaxing went off without a hitch, swimming went well too. The canoeing on the other hand was a bit of a challenge. They have a saying on this lake about the "mzungu corkscrew" because white people don't really know how to do it properly and just spin in circles. Suffice it to say that they know what they are talking about. It took about 45 minutes, but we got it down and eventually were shushing around the lake like pros. No skinny dipping this time, as there is a rumor that "if you swim naked at night the loc…

Anyone remember how the game ended?

Me neither.

I be this badman

I'm back in Mbale from my initial stretch of traveling, it has been a great week or so. I went to Kampala to ring in the New Year in style with my roommates. We made some fresh off the tree sangria and pregamed in the hotel before going out to an outdoor concert at the Sheraton hotel. We had a great time, we saw all the usual Ugandan pop stars, including one His Excellency the Ghetto President Bobi Wine who was the one musician I really wanted to see before I left Uganda.

(I gotta plug this video every chance I get, for some reason Pat and I absolutely love it.)

We showed up to the concert fashionably late of course, and by the time we arrived the line at the door stretched for easily a quarter mile around the block- probably thousands of people. For your average crew this may have derailed the night, but luckily we had my roommate, the resourceful Young Caitlin in our midst. She strolls right up to the front of line line- sporting towering heels and a saucy party dress of course- a…

Sunday Morning Americana

(San Luis Valley in southern Colorado)

What passes for excitement these days

Looks like another holiday season has come and gone. What makes a successful family vacation where I come from? Just follow these simple steps:

1. Eat some weird hippie goodness, preferably purchased from a weird hippie at a weird hippie market.

(if it looks like that, it's either poisonous or good for you)

2. Get way too competitive playing kiddie games


3. Encourage idiotic behavior by otherwise sensible people

(done and done)

Best Laid Plans

Like all my well designed plans, everything I thought I had all figured out for the next couple months is totally out the window. It turns out the partially-inept travel agency I was forced to use to book my tickets had one last trick up their sleeve. I guess my ticket can't be extended past early Feb, some sort of one year maximum. So, now I have to decide to either cut my travels to less than a month or just let my return ticket expire and figure it out later. A responsible person, obviously, would pick the former. But for me, I like cowpeas.

I have some big-boy decisions needing to be made in a hurry. It's unfortunate that I just so happen to be the most chronically indecisive person on the planet. I'll have to figure it out in the next week, so soon enough life will go on as normal.

Picture me Bussin'

(It's a celebration Bitches!)
I need to start writing my travel plans down, and I figure this is as good a place as any. So here goes: if anybody out there sees something they want to blow the bank and be a part of, come join me- I'd love the company.

I'm leaving for Kampala in the morning to do New Years in the city with my roommates. I've heard New Years isn't as much of a huge thing in Uganda as in the US, but any random night in Kampala is usually a blast if you know where to go. I was in Jinja a couple weeks ago and met these cool Indians and an Italian who all work for the multinational building the new dam. We had a great night out in Jinja and they said they have a suite at the Serena or the Sheraton. When I told them about my roommate who just loves Indian guys (in other news my roommate is probably going to be pretty pissed at me for spreading blatantly false rumors about her predilections), they insisted that we join them. I think the plan is to start thin…