a few week events caught on frame

17 02 2012

It has been another pretty tough week here – big generator issues for Deon, meaning they cannot get power for the lab.  There was also the incident of people stealing pipes and burning them.  Here at home we had a huge bunch of bananas stolen too, with the trusty guards sleeping through it all.  Just this week guards have been found sleeping in the loo, on the banana leaves fallen under the banana plants, behind a tree… such great options to sleep for the security guards here!  Deon went out to check at 4 one morning (I had heard some strange sounds and dogs were going crazy in the area) – he walked past the sleeping guard twice before finding him, and the guard had not stirred through all the barking.  When Deon had woken Askari, he declared “I was not sleeping!  Look at my eyes! They are open!” 

    — Now we know:  Just look for open eyes. 

Being on duty can take very different meanings here.

These barrow drivers cart many things around town (it does require skill to avoid them when driving). I just loved how very African this market scene is.

A few more from the market this morning:

A matooke truck arrival.  These huge bunches are not green bananas, but plantains, a staple food here.  A big bunch sells for around 25 000 UGX at the moment – about R90 / $15.  That is a LOT of money on the back of the truck!  (I think our bananas were stolen to sell, not to eat.  Poverty is dire.)

I LOVE these little stalls at the market:

These are mostly locally made and used products. Rope from sisal, mingling sticks, money boxes, loofahs, brooms, sigiris (the little clay stoves)… such a variety of colours, textures and arrangements to delight the eyes.

We said farewell to one of the friends from our Bible study group this week. Valerie has been such a great buddy and we  will miss her encouragement and smile here. We had a great coffee / fruit juice at Mount Elgon to send her off.

(Natalie, Melanie, Valerie, Stephanie and Karenie (ie?  Don’t want to be the odd one out!)

Big delight / intrigue/ fascination here yesterday at school.

Reaction shots first, can you guess:

Ah! A frog dissection!  That got all the students interested… the frog’s tongue protrudes from the FRONT of its mouth, it has soft teeth, and it closes eyes to help swallow the food.  It really got all the minds intrigued and mouths chattering off facts!

Skip over the next shot if you are squeamish! But it is JUST what 12 year old boys love!


The ironic discovery of the week follows.

We have been watching a few houses down from ours since about October: A new owner has taken over and is remodeling the house.  One of the first moves was to pull down all the trees, as they just don’t make a good inclusion to a great yard, in the minds of many Ugandans.  Deon and I watched in glee – a big tree on the pavement just refused to surrender.  With a diameter of about 5m, this old Man just would not budge. They chainsawed, axed, burned, hacked away with pangas, and only this week did the Mzee (old man) finally fall. My heart was very heavy to see him lying down, with a massive grave-like hole around him.  He was beautiful before being destroyed: tall, giving shade and rest to many birds. 

I was struck by the choice of gate posts of the new owner, as this is a perfect choice:


Chop down all the living trees, and make awful concrete tree-stem replica gate posts, with clear evidence of where concrete branches have been hacked off.  Really pretty. And great for the environment.


Sorry – if you can tell – I am not keen on tree murderers. 




One response

19 02 2012

Your pictures are always so interesting. I hope this next week goes more smoothly for all of you, and that your guards manage to stay awake!

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