Sunday, May 29, 2011

More Pictures? Already?! YES!!

Weebaleo! Welcome back!

The last pictures I posted were pretty animal-heavy, so I thought I would a few pictures from the people side of my life. As you may know, my group and I recently hit the 1 year mark (it happened on April 21), so we were given clearance to head through Kampala for a Mid-Service Conference in Seeta earlier this month. These are a few of the pictures from the week before the trip and as I passed through Kampala.

This is one NOISY-ass bird! He has some sort of edible-something in his mouth, and still he is able to making screaming, high-pitch squeaks. He and his buddy landed here, one on the rail, the other on the window ledge. The one on the ledge was looking at his reflection and screaming as a result. The bird on the rail was screaming right back. And I was screaming to scare them off.

Strangest contents of a pannier I have ever seen. Hands down.

A few of us got together to build a climbing wall at a buddies place. These were the climbing holds we made from spare bits of wood laying around his parish. While the manufacturing of the holds was successful, the wall itself was an epic fail, as (a.) we, I mean, I broke the drill bit that allowed us to pre-drill the holes for the concrete nails in the wood. This left us driving the nails through brittle wood... which is similar to driving nails through glass bottles... CRACK, SPLIT, DESTRUCTION! and (b.) We were trying to anchor the pieces in the wall with cement nails instead of expansion bolts. Getting the nails in was a challenge, but once in they tended to wiggle loose and then pull out of the wall. Bummer. The good news is that we did get a few holds to stick, we built a very cool rope ladder attached to my buddies rafters that he can do some strength training on, and, ANNNNNNND, we got to drink some VERY classy Bushmills Whiskey. YEAH BABY!!

Halt. Who goes there?


Yeah! Funny faces! This was a group of children at Elizabeth's site who waited with us for a taxi. We began playing around with them, and this collage is the result. Take a closer look... some of these kids are hilarious. (One of the hand gestures was an attempt at Spock's "Live long and prosper.")

The horse became a motorcycle, the carriage a small sedan. The tumbleweeds became empty vodka plastic baggies blowing in the wind. But the immortal dust remains. Uganda: A slightly more modern Wild West.

While waiting for a taxi in Nakaseke with Brian and Elizabeth, I broke out Brian's newly purchased used guitar. This small girl sat down next to me to hear me play and was happy to help me strum when given the opportunity.

A small child in at the market.

I've presented this picture twice because I would like you to download both and use a viewer that lets you switch back and fourth between each picture quickly. As you do it, I want you to note your emotions. When you move from color to black and white, does something change inside you? Does one picture draw out more emotion? And if so, why do you think that is?

Far more effective than a "No Parking" sign.

A street vendor with her merchandise. Woman vendors such as this one can be found on just about every street around the city selling books, school materials, newspapers, sweets, locks, wallets, bracelets, necklaces, etc... you name a trinket, and you can probably find a street vendor who has it. In certain spots, fresh produce can also be found. As you move more towards the richer areas of the city (i.e. Kololo) where the malls and golf course and upscale restaurants are, you will see far fewer vendors crowding the sidewalks. Surely, this is an attempt to keep a certain *image* in the Ex-pat side of town.
Entering my favorite restaurant alley in Kampala. Crowded. Dirty. Delicious. I've visited here enough that people know me by nickname, and I always get shouts of "Amooti!" as I pass by.

My favorite dish: Chapati and Beans. A dish like this costs 700-1000 Ugx ($0.29-0.41).

The chapati-man at my favorite restaurant.

Women further down the alleyway serving up their various dishes for customers.

One of Kampala's many homeless citizens.

Ever wanted to know if it is possible to carry 10 mattresses at once? Here's your answer!

This is the street outside Owino Market in Kampala around rush-hour. Owino (the shack-looking structures with steel roofs in the upper right of the picture) has... anything you could ever want to buy.

Imagine the largest maze on the planet earth: A maze with walls, often narrow enough that you can hit vendors on either side of the isle with your elbows if you walk face-forward; walls of clothing (used and new), shoes, backpacks, chickens, belts, flashlights, tarps, ropes, hangers, metals, fruits, vegetables, sewing machines, fabrics, people, used wood, sacks of grain ... just about anything you can imagine... dirt floors that develop puddles big enough to swallow people after stiff rains because the patchy roofs can't keep the inclement weather out... and add, at least in my case, shouts of "American!", "Spaniard!", "Muzungu!", "American Height!", "Ohhhh, my friend, my friend!", "T-shirts?!", "Jeans (I've got diesel!)!", "Yes! Yes!" accompanied with sweeping gestures of the arms towards their wares (or in the case of the more aggressive, grabbing of my arm to pull me towards their stalls) and you've got Owino.

Needless to say, there are some who when presented the choice between being burned at the stake or a venture into those walls would gladly choose the fiery stake. I've grown quite fond of the market, however. Walking the maze has become an adventure, and I've made friends with several of the salesman inside, so my visits have become more fun than stressful.

The same street as before. Owino Market and Nakivubo War Memorial stadium are on the left. In the upper left side of the picture you can see the mosque in Old Kampala. (See google maps to get a better handle on where this is in the city.)

Thats all for now. Thanks for looking/reading. I'll try to get even more pictures up in the next couple weeks.

I love you all (but especially you, Michelle!)


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