Posts Tagged ‘Africa’

#14 – Local houses in Gulu

From Lynne:

These round houses are typical of where most people live.

local homes in gulu, uganda

local homes in Uganda, guluThere is no electricity or water, so tasks are done in daylight, and family members haul water in yellow jerry cans.  All cooking, clothes washing and bathing depends on mile (or longer) walks to the closest bore hole (well), and often we see clothes spread on the roof or nearby bushes to dry. A good salary is 150,000 shillings a month which works out to $2+ a day.

We are staying at the Archbishop John Baptist Odama’s residence, which sits nestled in the Gulu landscape.

Archbishop's compound from the frontThe people around here are embroiled in a tragic situation that is not yet over (civil war for over 20 years!), but we are not in any danger.  The archbishop’s residence houses offices and many workers. We stay in a little house out back.

Our house is considered very wealthy because it is a freestanding  or permanent house and has divided rooms and running water. We have electricity when it is working, including a small hot water tank, and every room has a light, a single wire with a bulb hanging from the ceiling. There is a two-burner gas hotplate that runs off a tank of propane like a grill, and a manual water filtration tank for about 2 gallons. There are concrete floors and concrete walls, but they are broken in places and critters get in. I have only just realized that the nets over our beds are not only for flying insects but for things that can crawl up!

We wash some of our clothes in plastic dish pans and get help with laundry once a week. There are no washing machines that I know of.

(Arch, it is the same era, not nearly as nice as our house in Waterville, Ireland, but it will do just fine.)


#6 – The market

From Lynne:

I’ve spent some time in the local market.  It is a very colorful and vibrant place.  Lots of people are happy to have their pictures taken; some will ask. I wanted to carry small change to pay them, but my friends are reluctant about that. They are delighted to see their photographs on the camera.

happy man in Uganda market

People in Uganda marketThe people are beasts of burden while the donkeys scamper about the yard. You will see huge items loaded on bicycles and motor bikes…even something as large as a bed….but most people carry things their head.

wide view of market in Uganda

The usual way to go a long distance is walk, bike or cab it on the back of a bota-bota (a kind of motorcycle).

Riding a bota-bota in Uganda

A bota-bota can fit two people behind the driver.

#3 – The Acholi people

While in Uganda, Lynne will be staying in Gulu, which is in the northern part of this country.  Gulu is populated mostly by the Acholi people, who came originally from southern Sudan, where some still reside.

The Acholi live in an area sometimes referred to as Acholiland (see image below), a name encompassing the present-day Ugandan disitricts of Gulu, Kitgum and Pader.

Map of Uganda with Acholiland highlight

The Acholi are a brave and strong people, and they have lived through near-constant civil war over the past twenty years.  Most Acholi are Protestant, Catholic and Muslim, though their belief in traditional guardian and ancestor spirits remains strong.

The Acholi have a rich and vibrant culture, and their language is similar to what is spoken in Sudan.  The people are very nice and love to sing and dance.  Here is a traditional dance called ‘Ajere’ as performed by Gulu Theatre Artists:

#1 – And she’s off!

Today Lynne began her 48-hour journey to Gulu, Uganda.

Lynne will be flying from St. Louis to Uganda via Chicago and London.  She will land in Entebbe, Uganda late tomorrow night (Tues., Feb 9) at this airport:

Entebbe Airport in Uganda

From Entebbe, she will take a truck ride through Kampala (the capitol of Uganda)…

Women in Kampala

Women in Kampala, Uganda

…to the northwest area of this beautiful country.  She  will stay in Gulu with the Sisters of Saint Joseph, where she will help build living quarters for clinicians.  The house in which Lynne will be staying has a tin roof and sits beneath a large mango tree:

The sisters warned her that the mangoes fall in the night and wake everyone with a loud clang!  She’ll have to invest in some ear plugs…

Please keep Lynne in your thoughts and prayers as she embarks upon this exciting journey!  She is so thankful for a chance to visit Africa once more.