Wednesday, September 29, 2010


In the early morning in Calon all is prepared to make the perfect rolex (egg omelet rolled in chapati): steam rises from the pan heated by charcoal, balls of dough sit ready to be flattened like a tortilla, eggs rest in the tray before being cracked, and of course heaps of oil are on hand. Its a greasy, but tasty start to the morning, or snack, lunch, and even dinner (but not all on the same day).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Along the road in Pader/Agago districts...

Monday, September 27, 2010

the Hawks play at home

The Hawks needed to win both games this weekend to move into the playoffs. On Saturday they played a team from Kampala that they lost to the last time they met on the court. (The Hawks are in white and light blue).

The team took a time out when the score was tied at 34-34.

In the last 4 minutes of the game the Hawks pulled ahead with a couple crucial baskets.

The crowd gathered to at least a hundred by the end of the game, lining each side of the court. As those last few minutes ran down on the clock, the crowd grew with intensity: shouts of support erupted when the whistle finally blew.

Final score: 55 to 47
Hawks win!

friday evening bball

Ray played basketball with a couple of friends on Friday night as the sun went down.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

the market at sunset

Vendors who do not have stands inside the market sell their fruits and vegetables along Market street.

We walked through an area where clothes are sold to reach the food section of the market.

Lapena and odi for sale in Gulu's market.

green oranges.

A stack of 5 tomatoes go for 25 cents.

Niki buys onions from a vendor.

Friday, September 24, 2010


On Wednesday, I began my volunteer work with the Justice and Reconciliation Project.  A short walk from where I am staying, I will be volunteering here 2-3 days a week.

JRP is focused, not surprisingly, on justice and reconciliation, but their focus is on the local level.  While we wait to see if the ICC grabs Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army that has committed many atrocities in Northern Uganda and now neighboring countries, justice and reconciliation cannot wait. 

JRP is working with local communities, especially ones that have experienced horrific atrocities, in order to advance transitional justice.  They do this by preserving memory, acknowledging loss, and promoting healing through participatory research, capacity-building, advocacy, and documentation (from the website). 

For more information, visit


which one is this?

 I was tested on my ability to differentiate between lapena and muranga, cow peas and beans...

 lapena- cow peas

muranga- beans

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

barefoot peace walk

Yesterday was International Day of Peace. The Barefoot Peace Walk through Gulu town was meant to raise awareness about continued LRA activity in the region. Several hundred people marched, men and women, and mostly barefoot.

The marching band led the way...

Sign reads 'no future without peace'

a perfect climbing tree

There are two boys playing on this tree, but they are hard to make out because of the intense contrast with the sun right behind the tree. I took this photo in Awere.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Kitgum and Lamwo

We traveled around Kitgum and Lamwo districts (north of Gulu) for 3 days this week doing the same bike distribution and monitoring as last week with HURIFO. Ray joined us for the trip. Here are some of many shots taken from our moving vehicle. The area north of Gulu is a much more mountainous landscape. The first photo is a of a police officer guarding prisoners in yellow as they dig in the field.

One of many electricity poles lining this road waiting to connect the next trading center to electricity.


We came across this (dead) python on the road in Lamwo district. It was about to eat a chicken so these men killed it and were on their way to dispose of it...

Monday, September 13, 2010

girl's afternoon

Niki, Christina, and I spent the afternoon shopping in the local awina- used clothes market. We sifted through skirts and managed to find some keepers!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

home of the hawks

I am having a great time so far here in Uganda with Karin.  I spent my first week reading for classes, visiting UNICEF, UNOCHA, and over 8 NGOs, and helping to coach the Gulu Hawks: the basketball team here.

The Hawks are a professional team, playing in the national basketball league.  We practice outside on a poorly paved court, without nets, and with a crooked rim.  I am told there is only one indoor court in all of Uganda.  We practice three days a week, and then the players play pickup at least two other days.  But they don’t make any money on the team, so everyone has another job, or is studying at the University.

Practice has already been canceled once so far because of the rain, but the team has learned a new offense and is off in Kampala this last weekend for two games.  I can’t wait to hear how it went.  Of course, I have been playing a bit too, which is helping me get into shape!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

a soccer ball made of plastic bags

Now that is ingenuity.

Pader and Agago Districts

I spent Monday through Wednesday driving around Pader and Agago districts for work with Human Rights Focus (HURIFO). We were delivering bikes to about 15 of HURIFO's 604 human rights volunteers. They use the bikes as transport as they carry out monitoring and reporting on human rights violations. 

We also conducted interviews with district officials and people still living in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. The camps are officially closed, but many remain for various reasons. Some of these reasons include: a lack of water in their home village, a lack of money, materials, and/or labor to construct new huts in their home village, conflicts over land ownership, lack of access to schools and health care in the their home villages, and some of the elderly, widows, and disabled do not have family members to help them financially or physically with the return process.

We woke up the first morning to this view.

People form a line of jerrycans early in the morning to collect water from the tank. This line was just across from where we ate breakfast (I had a rolex (rolled eggs)- chapati and an omelet rolled together).

We spent three days (between 10 and 12 hours) in the pick-up driving hundreds of kilometers on bumpy, dusty roads. We crisscrossed two districts to the north east of Gulu, traveling to the corners of each district.

Storm clouds seem to gather every afternoon.

A lightning storm passed through Pader. I was leaning up against a truck, trying to steady my camera enough to capture the random flashes of lightning. A boda passed through this photo.