Posts Tagged ‘animals’

#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.

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#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

#25 – The Camboni sisters

From Lynne:

These are two of the Camboni sisters.  They are across the road and have been very supportive of our friends here.

Two of the Camboni sisters with Jo Ann

Left to right: Sister Cypriana, Jo Ann, Sister Agnes

They have a magnificent garden and raise rabbits, fowl, and a few acres of vegetables, bananas, citrus, etc.

Mango tree

The Camboni sisters have some beautiful mango trees!

Sister Cypriana is from Sudan. She is just learning to drive.  Sister Agnes, who is in charge of the garden and animals, is from Italy, and has been in Africa most of her adult life. She has a turkey, and  she says it is gay.

Turkey photo in the yard

A gay turkey?

She had its partner last Thanksgiving. I am being my most restrained self.

Daniel Camboni was a Verona (Italy) priest late 1800’s who evangelized much of eastern Africa. As a result, this area is mostly catholic and VERY devotional. I have been to mass many mornings, but it is in Acholi. I have been working on my abs.

#18 – The end

From Lynne:

I came out of our door to discover a goat meeting his demise.  Warning: photos may not be for the squeamish.

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#12 – It is hot here!

From Lynne:

We are working hard and having a great time here.

Lynne cooling down

That's me!

We try hard to stay cool.

Jim cooling down

My brother-in-law Jim

JoAnn is a great host.

JoAnn cooling down

JoAnn is my main liason here.

Marion is very welcoming and helpful, too.

Marion and everyone here is so kind and generous.

Marion and everyone here are so kind and generous.

We work through the heat and take our breaks beneath trees, where workers sip tea and carouse.

workers sipping tea at morning breakThe animals in the yard huddle in the shadow of building and trees, too.

pig and piglets feeding in shadeDid I mention it is hot? There is no air conditioning even if we had regular electricity, and it has been 90 in our house and hotter outside! One night Jim and I asked JoAnn to take us for a ride to town just to be in the air-conditioned car! Driving is terrifying, and if there are rules, you can’t tell it. Roads are little more than paths in most places, and they are shared by people, animals and cars without much consideration each for the other.

#5 – Life with the Sisters of St. Joseph

From Lynne:

I’m here, and I’m settling in with the Sisters of St. Joseph (CSJ) .  Life is very different here in Gulu, Uganda.  The Archbishop’s guesthouse is a little humbler than one might think.

The Archbishop's guesthouse with the CSJThe electricity is very iffy, and malaria is rampant, thus you see me in my mosquito net with a headlamp for reading at night.

Lynne reading by night with netting

I love to read before bed.

The yard is full of farm animals, including about 15 pigs of varying sizes…

Pig on CSJ grounds…and the baby donkey, Joseph, who was born just last week.

baby donkey Joseph grown up a bit

He grew so quickly!

There is a special coop along the roof of the garage to accommodate the pigeons (why, I do not know)…

Strange pigeon coop

They like to provide housing for pigeons.

…and a shed for the mean dogs which are let out at night to protect the compound.

The house is four rooms with a concrete floor. Most of the fixtures are 30’s era, and it, and the entire compound, are really dilapidated. There is a huge bunch of people working here including drivers, a guy to watch the pigs and many others, but for the most part they just sit around. This is one thing I learned immediately: the whole country, especially the north, is in disrepair. The wars have gone on for so long that no one feels like doing much of anything. There is a general malaise for fear the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) will come back (more on that later), and there have been times not so long ago when even this compound was under siege. Lots of people have been killed and displaced. Fortunately, Joseph Kony (the leader of the LRA) is in Sudan or Congo and peace talks have been underway on and off for years, but the poverty, lack of infrastructure, impact of AIDS and the wars and overall lack of opportunity hav resulted in relative paralysis from a development perspective. One of the priests explained that the years of fear and trauma have resulted in a people who are just waiting for someone else to do something.

Our hosts (the CS) have been here 18 months. JoAnn works at a clinic where she sees pediatric patients and diabetes patients – more about that later. She is the first white person many of the children have seen and one asked her translator “why did God take her color away.” Marion works with the catechists and pastoral workers.

Dining area at CSJShe and a former member of the group, Pat Murphy, have come up with money for children to go to school – about $1000 a year each for 50 kids (there is no government-funded education) – and three of her kids came by today to be informed that they had been accepted for scholarships. As you ride down the dirt roads everyone is walking, but among them are hundreds of school children in their colorful uniforms.

A bicycler in the countryside in Uganda

#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.