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April 4, 2010

Kandore ensi yaawe (pictures!)

Kandore ensi yaawe means "let me see your world" in Runyoro-Rutooro. That's the intention of today's post: to give you a peak at my daily life here in lush Uganda. So without further adieu, I give you pictures!

This is the hill I see every day from the RACO training facility. The view from the top is spectacular.

Me, Arwen, Brian, and Tony at the top of that hill.

My host brother Victor thinks that the dimple in his bread looks like Michael Jackson's chin.

My host sister Juliet (Victor's cousin, technically) works in a salon, but here she's having a bad hair day. If she hadn't fro-picked the shit out of her hair before I shot this, I would have guessed that she got an electric shock from the showerhead. The house is chock full of questionable electrical work.

Some of my Trainee friends in front of Kasubi Tombs just days before this UNESCO World Heritage Site was burned to the ground, inciting a series of riots across Kampala. The Tombs were the burial site of the kings of Buganda (the largest kingdom in Uganda), an important cultural site for the Baganda people. Inside that gigantic hut, we got to drink traditional Baganda beer. I didn't care for it; it tasted like a mixture of expired sangria and bacon bits.

Me doing a handstand in two hemispheres.

Apparently, getting to do this is one of the perks of marriage! Stacey and Tony are hitched chemists from Michigan.

The madness that is the New Taxi Park in Kampala. Those minibus taxis hold like 18 people and rarely have seatbelts. If you think New York cabbies are crazy, you should see the lunatics that operate these. Hit-and-runs are the norm (I was in one the second time I ever got in a matatu).

Not gonna lie, I always get a little nervous when I encounter a herd of these cattle on the road, which is almost every day. Their horns are HUGE.

Devon and I with a class of primary school boys in Gayaza. We taught them life skills (sex, puberty, HIV/AIDS, condoms, etc.) and the great game of Red Light Green Light as part of our technical immersion in the field with current PCV Amanda. I'll hopefully write about tech immersion in a future post.

Hard to see, I know, but this is Wakiso Town from the hill that my host family lives on. I can't emphasize enough how beautiful this country is.

Case in point: equatorial sunset.

This is from this morning, when a current PCV nicknamed "Sexy Jesus" (who also goes by "Chimuli" and "David") taught our training group how to build insulated cooking ovens with bricks, mud, sawdust, and banana tree trunks. The ovens can reduce a family's firewood consumption by as much as 40 or 50 percent, staving off deforestation (a big problem in Uganda) and lessening the amount of money spent on wood. Naturally, our mud collecting devolved into an all-out mud war, which ended around the time the snacks came out. Who could resist guavas, jackfruit, sugar cane, and bananas? Pictured (left-to-right, back-to-front) are Brennan, Cowboy Dave (there are 4 Daves in our group, so we had to do some nicknaming - this one wears a cowboy hat on occasion), Brian, Shannon, Arwen, myself, Devon, Nathalie, and John.

Enjoy the pretty pictures. I'll have a wordier update soon.


  1. Looks pretty sweet so far. Is this your permanent location?

  2. Nope, I'm in training until the 21st. But I find out my permanent site this Tuesday!

  3. Great Pictures Lucas! Everyone at my site still asks about you. Know you are always welcome in Gayaza:)

  4. Hi,are you willing to help me, a graduate student in University of Minnesota, understand the electrical needs of the people in Uganda? Thanks.

  5. Lukas! Your camera takes awesome pictures! I just uploaded a picasa album