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Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Kampala
July 14th 2008
Published: July 14th 2008
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Motorbike navigates traffic
Didn't have internet anywhere this weekend and there were several power outages; very common here. Friday, we did a lot of running around meeting TKL partners and gathering equipment. The absolute coolest people here are the motorbikers. The preferred form of transportation is walking, bikes, taxi vans, and motorbikes; in that order. There are no traffic lights and very few stop signs. The country is energy efficient as well; no air conditioning anywhere-; estaurants-banks-hotels...anywhere. Meals are cooked on open fires or wood-burning stoves.

Saturday was soccer day for the children of Katanga. The families live in make shift homes with no electricity, dirt floors, and no toilet facilities. A open stream of sewage runs through the slum in front of every home and circles the soccer field. The field has stones and other debris and most of the children play in bare feet. When the ball would find it's way in to the sewage, the players would simply jump in and retrieve it. The families come out to watch and for a day, a stadium of hope is formed. It is very hard for me to understand how the world can allow any human being to live this
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Mother & Child going home Friday evening
way. It is my hope to join forces with others upon my return to develop an action plan for these people.

The children only attend school for four-years. The families can not afford the fee for public education. There is no free school in Uganda, only the privileged or families able to scrape money together access education.

The food here is very tasty, but not a nourishing diet. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are the same: green banana, rice, potato, beans, and sometimes nakati...collard greens. Oh the green banana; boiled, mashed, fried, sliced, every way imaginable. My body was craving green vegetables and it was dramatically affecting my system. Saturday I found a grocery store and bought canned spinich and green beans for dinner. The next morning I felt like a new man. I was feeling homesick and becoming a little depressed, largely because of my small and dank hotel room that could not keep out the 24-hour noise. A few calls home and a switch to a much better room allowed me to refocus on why I am here. The vegetables certainly helped as well.

Sunday, Ben and I walked around the city and
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Winston, a double amputee, shows what courage is all about.
had dinner together. Ben left for up noth this morning to work with a tribe for one week. I had my first PE/basketball class this morning at a boarding school for children from the Kisenji slum. They come from all over Africa and many have war injuries. The class was held outside, their first all year. The sky opened up and heavy rains fell, but the class went on. These students would put most of my U.S. students to shame. They were respectful, tenacious, grateful, and oh so beautiful.

I have decided to accelerate my schedule and respond to the hand at my back that keeps pushing me north. Wednesday I leave for Gulu!


Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


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Residents get well water during game. This is the only source of water.
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Transporting water home
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TKL soccer

During the game children jumped over the sewer to entertain themselves. They often rejoiced after falling in.
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One of the highly skilled and competitive Kids League games
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Institution trash is dumped during the game. There is no sanitation system for residents, everyone burns their own trash
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Sunday in Kampala

An angry vendor throws an onion at me. The only one not wanting to be photographed since I arrived.
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Sunday in Kampala

The owner of a hardware store-a very strong essence
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Sunday in Kampala

Armed private security guards are visible everywhere, especially around financial institutions and high-end hotels. Most do not want to be photographed, these chaps were in a good mood.
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My first Phys Ed class. What a fantastic group!
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The school kitchen
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students in the classroom
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student looking out from classroom
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girls dormitory
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The school library
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Fans and family members watch and cheer on the players. An eerie sort of stadium was formed.
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One of my many new friends


14th July 2008

Stock up on the spinach, dude
We don't want you getting sick. And those kids need you. Take care of yourself!!!!! You're doing a great job....
14th July 2008

WOW
All I can say is WOW!!! You are doing a great service. Please let me know what I can do to help you in your action plan when you return. I keep trying to figure out what I can do to make my life more meaningful - I think you can help me as well. Love you.
14th July 2008

Cool
Wow...they are keeping you busy over there! The kids are so beautiful and it looks like you have a fun bunch to work with! I started laughing at the picture of the woman who threw an onion at you lol...
14th July 2008

When you're in Gulu...
Hey Charlie: I'm enjoying reading your blog. When you get to Gulu, be sure to visit Abitimo Odongkara, who owns UNIFAT school (I think on Airport Rd.), and Jennifer Anyayo, the young war victim I brought to Philly and DC for medical treatment. She would love to see someone from here. Please give both of them my best and have fun in the north.
14th July 2008

hooray for vegetables
Green beans...is there anything they can't do? Did the lady who threw the onion hit or miss? Can't stop looking at these amazing pictures.
14th July 2008

Unbelievable
I guess it really makes us feel fortunate to have such things as - electricity. I don't know how someone can not be changed by the experience, I'm hoping that you sent your travelblog to all the other Educators because this is amazing. And the photos are amazing as well bmore!
14th July 2008

Hi Charlie, Thank you so much for including me on the blog, this is fabulous! I am enjoying every step of your trip. What a wonderful life experience. Stay safe.
14th July 2008

spirit indeed
It is like watching a movie, Charlie! You need to get into some shots and then I will really be in shock :) You will need to ease back into the American culture when you get back...people here will probably piss you off at first...oh how much is taken for granted!
16th July 2008

incredible
wow..i cant believe you're experiencing this..makes me really appreciate how fortunate i've been..love u and keep up the work jordan
19th July 2008

Sounds like you're settling in....
Hey Charlie. Sounds like the magic of Uganda has taken a grip of you're heart and soul. What an amazing feeling!!! There are no words to begin to describe it! It's fantastic that you are taking everything in.....It will benefit you for the rest of your life. Stay safe and God bless you.

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