Sunday, July 25, 2010

Welcome to Uganda

It was a week not likely to be forgotten, ever. A week of beauty and pain; vivid colors and, sometimes, dull boredom; warmth, gratitude, awe—and monkeys.

I had my very first photo opp—and adapted a new personal motto—upon arriving at the Entebbe Airport Sunday night:

As I quickly learned, the Ugandans have a way with words.

A trip to the supermarket the following morning, to stock up for our five-hour drive to Gulu, offered a couple other gems:

(Awww, Milo.)

Otherwise, the week was filled with meeting local farmers and families, organizing photo shoots and long drives in between. I won’t reveal too much as the web site for which we were there launches in mid-September, but these photos will give you an idea of the daily routine and landscape.

We were graciously welcomed into many homes—the people were always so warm and high-spirited.

They grew their own crops (peanuts, roasting in the sun)…

… raised farm animals, which freely roamed everywhere…

… and of course there were tons of kids (the birth rate in Uganda is 6.8 children), who were alternately shy and silly.

The blue skies and green country were beautiful contrasts to the red earth.

We did so much driving. I hated sitting for hours every day, but I loved the way the road always stretched ahead of us….

… and seeing all the pedestrians and bicyclists that added texture and personality to the trip.

It was amazing what the bicyclists could carry, which I unfortunately didn’t capture: stacks of sugar cane, sacks of charcoal, towers of water jugs, mattresses, goats, chickens hanging from the handlebars… It was crazy.

On our drive to Gulu, we also crossed the Nile, which churned madly below us.

And, finally, on our return to Kampala, wait, what is that up ahead??


I still want to make it to Africa for a proper safari and to see some of the southern beaches and wild jungles. But this was a trip that I never, ever could have planned for myself and left me with many simple but profound memories.


  1. Wonderful !
    and Yes.. Life is precious .
    Welcome back, I have been looking forward to hearing about the trip .. the photos are great !

  2. Welcome Home!! What an amazing adventure!!!

    xoxoxoxo M

  3. ps: "not tonight HONEY"...hilarious.

  4. Wow. Such a great post. Uganda certainly isn't a place we think of often, or entertain notions of visiting. Thanks for taking me on a quick trip there tonight. I too love the not tonight Honey. But I particularly love that first sign about where you go becomes who you are. I've been thinking along those lines, although not quite so succinctly of course in the past two since, since I got back from my second ever holiday in Paris. I went somewhere delicious too.

  5. What a couple of amazing posts -- this one and the one before it! How incredible to have this kind of experience, one that both bends and expands the mind as it has to encounter things that are challenging and new.

    Posts like these really make me wonder what in the heck I am doing in a place like Paris, when I intended to be places like Uganda... I know my life must have reasons, but maaaaaan, to me, experiences like this one are so much more enriching, and make me feel like I am so much more alive.

    I'm thrilled for you that you got to see and do these things, and really grateful for the technology that allowed you to share with us. I'm glad you got back safely. :)

    Thank you, again. I really enjoyed seeing your photos and reading of your experiences.

  6. I'm so happy that you guys enjoyed this post and that it inspired some interesting reflections. Louise, I really do hope your delicious trip to Paris is still with you and, Karin, thank you for your thoughtful response! I don't know - I definitely wouldn't say that Uganda is a weightier experience than Paris. You're here for a reason. And it's all what you make of the everyday journey! xo

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  8. that first indication about where you go becomes who you are. I've been considering along those collections, although not quite so succinctly of course in the last two since, since I got returning from my second ever vacation in London. I went somewhere delightful too.
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