Archive for the ‘Local Wildlife and Wilderness’ Category

#34 – Safari photos

Before Lynne left, she visited a local game park and went on a little safari where she saw all kinds of animals.

water buffalo on safari

A water buffalo

giraffes at safari

Giraffes!

Elephant on safari

Look at its tusks!

The game parks are protective grounds for these animals who are constantly hunted for their tusks, hides and bodies in the wild.  It is very rare to see these animals outside a safe place like this.

Advertisements

#33 – Palm trees everywhere

From Lynne:

Palm trees were everywhere there.

palm treesThe deal is that the elephants love the leaves, fruit, seeds and all. They eat they eat the whole tree and distribute freely over the countryside naturally, kind of like Johnny Appleseed.  The elephants do the planting, treating and fertilizing all at once.

#31 – A message from Jim McCoy

Jim McCoy is Lynne’s brother-in-law, and he went with her to Uganda for part of her trip.   He sent the following message, and we wanted to share it with you all here.

From Jim:

I want to thank Lynne, Sister JoAnn and Sister Marion for inviting me and allowing me an experience of a lifetime. I also want to thank my wife Iris for supporting me to take this adventure. I thank and admire all the Sisters in Uganda who work so very hard to bring a better life to the Acholi People. I appreciate the hospitality of the Camboni Sisters where I stayed.

It was an inspiration to meet the Acholi school children along the road as they would (most of the time) be coming from or going to school. They all seemed so happy and many got some laughs at our attempts to say simple greetings in Acholi. On two occasions Lynne and I were treated to recitations of the poem Uganda, My Homeland. To one group, Lynne responded with a nonsense poem that ended with “and if you don’t believe me, just ask the blind man, he saw it all.” That sent them off in a fit of giggles.

Brother Mike the builder has a great crew working on the house that the Sisters of St. Joseph (CSJ) will be living in. I was very pleased with how well they accepted us. They are steady, hard workers who don’t complain about the heat and the lack of modern tools. I was pleased to find out that the wastewater from the kitchens and showers will be used to water the garden – they are going green! The house will be a great improvement to where the sisters (JoAnn, Pat and Marion) live now.

I had the opportunity to go to daily Mass during the build. Even though I couldn’t understand the language, it was moving to see the schoolchildren participate and hear them playing the drums. I also got to meet Archbishop John Baptist Odama. He was very approachable and friendly. He really liked the handmade pottery from Georgia that Lynne and I presented him as a gift. Overall I feel I grew spiritually because I have a better perception of who my neighbor is, what freedom really means, and how blessed I am in so many ways.

Before I left I tried to imagine what a ‘third world country’ would be like. But you just can’t appreciate it until you experience it. And I was there in ‘good times’. The Lord’s Resistance Army is not currently active in the area I was in. It is a time of relative peace, but people are displaced and there is some despair and poverty. People are afraid they will never get back to their villages. On the other hand, there is a resiliency in most of the people – like the ones I saw walking & bicycling 25 miles to bring their child to boarding school for the semester.

Before I left, I did not count on going on the Safari, but I am very glad it happened.

A lion creeping alongEven though both Lynne and JoAnn were a little under the weather at the end of my stay we all made the trip. It was very exciting and the whole Safari, including the trip to Murchison Falls on the Nile, will be something I will never forget.

Sister Pat, they are looking forward to you returning, and with a little luck you will be coming back to a new house. I look forward to meeting you some day.

Sincerely , Jim

Jim closeup

#27 – Life in Gulu: meals, ants and the circle of life

From Lynne:

Electricity is a luxury, here, and we eat many meals by candlelight.

place setting around table in Uganda

One of our many electricity-free meals!

The landscape is dotted with huge anthills up to 6 feet high and equally as wide.

giant anthill

A huge anthill!

At a certain time of the year they are invaded by people who like to eat them. We notice that their wings have gone from about a half an inch since we got her to a couple of inches long.

A cemetary adjoining our yard holds the remains of many of the medical workers who cared for people during the 2003 Ebola outbreak, when the case-fatality rate rose to an all-time high of 90%.

cemetery yard in Gulu

#24 – Murchison Falls

From Lynne:

We recently visited Murchison falls, which is just a bit southwest of Gulu.  We saw the Nile River again!

nile river above Murchison falls

The Nile River above Murchison Falls

At the top of Murchison Falls, the Nile forces its way through a gap in the rocks only 6 meters wide and tumbles 43 meters (140 ft)!

Murchison falls rushing

Murchison Falls in action - so loud!

The water flows westward into Lake Albert. The outlet of Lake Victoria sends around 300 cubic meters per second of water over the falls, squeezed into a gorge less than 30 ft wide.

There is a big park at the falls, and you can see more great photos here.

#15 – Moving day around town

From Lynne:

It is not uncommon to see lots of stuff piled on one little vehicle. Here it is moving day.

bike piled high with many boxes

A precarious balancing act!

Our friends here have a Toyota Landcruiser  which is very capable on the deeply rutted roads.

On the way in, we saw baboons along the road. We hope to have a Safari day next week, but so far the Big 5 for us have included donkeys, pigs, goats, chickens and mosquitoes.

two baboons by the road

#2 – A new member of the family in Gulu

Lynne is still en route to Uganda.  She should now be resting safely in London awaiting the final leg of her flight to Entebbe, where she is awaited by the Sisters of St. Joseph.  The Sisters of St. Joseph recently sent along these photos showing the birth of foal on their grounds!  Check it out.

foal just born

Foal just born!

Foal just born!

foal just born!

These photos were sent courtesy of the Sisters of St. Joseph.