Wednesday, April 6, 2011

unnecessary hiatus over.

i have been back in DC for over 8 months at this point without a single post. and that's a shame really.

there is no reason why my occassional desire to share my thoughts with a larger audience should have ended with my African adventure. so i'm back. the direction of the blog is uncertain, but its presence is not. get excited.

in other news: the cherry blossoms are blooming in DC. i sure wish these trees looked like this year round. amazing.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

No really, I'm a peacemaker.

I believe the UN calls this "peace-enforcing."
Pursuing peace by pursuing those who threaten it.

(quote courtesy of Christen Price, gun courtesy of a policeman who should be fired for letting random civilians hold his gun)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mighty Nile-1, Steph Hall- 0

Raft 30 kilometers on the Nile. check.
Conquer grade 5 rapids. check.
Conquer grade 5 rapids without flipping and swimming down the Nile. not possible.

We had an awesome time. I recommend that everyone hop on a plane, get to Jinja, and raft the Nile immediately.

We're on the road again. This time heading all the way west and eventually into the Congo to participate in a peacemaker training with Congolese judges and attorneys next week. Please, please, please pray for safety as we cross the border on Sunday afternoon.

I can't believe I have less than a week left here, I'm going to miss this place when I leave.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

nile nile crocodile

Tomorrow Christen and I are going white water rafting on the Nile river. I would like to say that after spending a night in the bush I am no longer afraid of anything, but that would not be true.

Spending the evening watching videos like this and this was probably a bad idea.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

still alive and living life to the fullest

Last night I slept in the bush.

We were heading to Karamoja in the far northeast to visit a village that Peace and Reconciliation Ministries has been working with, and we ended up having even more of an adventure than originally planned. The Karamoja tribe has a well-earned reputation all over Uganda because of their ruthless cattle raiding. The region is reeeally far away from other towns because people don't like to live too close to people who kill them and steal their cows. The village we were visiting is involved in training in agricultural development in an effort to encourage these people to move away from a lifestyle predicated on cattle raiding. It's considered a no-go region by many, but you're pretty much alright as long as you're not traveling with cattle (we weren't).

Because the area is so remote, the roads are not really roads at all. Last night, right around sunset and at least 45 minutes after passing any form of human civilization, our car got stuck in the mud that made up these "roads." After getting out several times and pushing it through some tough spots, it finally became inextricably lodged for the night. We made several calls to see if we could get some help (including a call to the representative of the president of Uganda in the region and the local military commander), but the local military had no vehicle and the roads wouldn't allow us to be reached by motorcycle. So we stayed... in the bush... all night.

In the morning, Dickson walked several miles to some military barracks he knew were somewhere up the road. So 15 hours and 8 able-bodied soldiers later, we were moving!

What could have been a really terrifying and dangerous situation was characterized by peace and a reminder that God is good.

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the Shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.'
You will not fear the terror of night not the arrow that flies by day.
If you make the Most High your dwelling- even the Lord, who is my refuge- then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
'Because he loves me,' says the Lord, 'I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

Psalm 91

Monday, July 12, 2010


I'm sure most of you have heard about the attacks last night in Kampala. You can read about it here. Two bomb blasts went off in the capital city as people were gathered to watch the world cup. The death toll is now at 74, and the attacks are being claimed by a Somali terrorist group.
I am safe. I am staying about 5 hours away from Kampala in the north, and it is incredibly ironic because for the first time in decades it feels more secure in the north than in Kampala.

I am so sad that this is the headline news coming out of Uganda right now. Over the past few weeks I have had full immersion into all things Uganda and have fallen a little in love with the country.

This country deserves peace.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

not quite chik-fil-a

Here is a sampling of a typical Ugandan meal. Most meals (lunch and dinner) consist of some sort of stew (chicken, goat, fish) served with an assortment of starches (potatoes, posho, rice).

The stew is really good, but unfortunately is flavored with the exact same seasonings. every. time.
Posho is kind of like polenta, but not nearly as delicious.
Cassava is similar to potatoes.
Millet is just... bad.

It's pretty decent, and the good news is you can get a meal like that for around 4000 shillings, which is less than 2 dollars. Not bad, but it would be better if there were polynesian sauce on the side.