Friday, 31 December 2010

2010 Transformed

The Universe talks. I look back and smile. We humans continue to evolve. With age brings wisdom. In time change. Tomorrow will always be different to today. Once what was, may never be - ever again.
I started 2010 off right. I gained the opportunity to help with Right To Play during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. I saw, I learn - I was inspired.
Not long after I lit up. A guest post for MISS604 with Mission Emp-ossible. She’s a ladder of knowledge amidst the fray of the Social Media revolution. What a gift.
Never much to travel the same path twice, I take up an ambitious challenge to my psyche. The Challenge Course for BC Bike Race 2010. Truthfully more then a physical dare. A consumption of my senses. Can I maintain the three-hour training rides before work (varnishing old wooden boats) by getting up at 4:15 a.m.?
My son travels to Quebec and wins another Canada Cup downhill mountain bike race. Later relieving himself of the race pace. I acknowledge the bliss by observing him master rugby. Not quite as extreme.
At some point I confront the notion of time. It moves quickly. Never enough of it. Priorities set in. The kayak is sold.
I’m going to Uganda. It’d decided in May. Six weeks in the plan. Fear sets in. Multiple shots soon required.
Volunteerism runs amuck. With the NS Freeride Bike Park FUNdraiser. A James Bond event. Glowing with gambling amid food and delight – at an airport hanger venue no less.
At some point I create my first vision board. “If you could do anything what would you do?” runs the headline.
Number one son graduates. Same school as I. Twenty-eight years later.
Again I ponder the future.  A blog begins. Raincoaster hosts the first of many Skype broadcasts. I absorb. Like a sponge I squeeze it out into words.
Sometime during I develop a new addiction. Riding in a pack. I become a cardio junky. I savour sweet moments with my new found training partner C.C. AKA missy iron legs.
More inspiration sets in. My soul sister and I attend a workshop at Hollyhock on Cortes Island with best selling author, SARK.
Here I declare worthiness. Open-ness to receiving.   
Uganda Wishes erupts.
Soon after I visit the Museum of Flight in Seattle with dear Uncle Len. Historical planes. Preserved in their time.
Then I depart for more change. It’s Uganda. Africa. A chance to look outside myself. Away from the norm.
The weeks pass. Calamity provides. Love ensues. Emotions are tangled. There’s a gap between time. What is. What was.
Back to red lights, buzz of today, text messaging in tribes and recycled garbage.
I divulge 2010 was Facebooked, Tweeted and such. The learning’s were real, the takeaways were more.
Like Kelly said after returning home from Africa“It’s not about what we can do for them, it’s what they can do for us.”
Humbly I confess, things look differently now.
Goals may change but life hangs on.
People and Purpose is talked.
I admit in the year 2010 I was rushed, addicted, squeezed, stretched, strayed, inspired and later loved but most importantly - I was transformed.
Here’s hoping for peace, love, stability with good health and meaning for all.
Happy 2011 everyone.
Jane Victoria King

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Vision Board - People, Purpose & Power!

I would print two copies of the picture with their purpose on the spot then juxtapose the photographs in some streetscape skyline where passerby’s can view. A copy would also go as a keep sake to the person. At night, the images and words would be broadcast onto the side of a building...

Monday, 27 December 2010

Inherited Values

A discussion tonight amongst my mother’s neighbour brought up the subject of what we inherit. How so much of what we have we have inherited. Take recipes for example. Like Christmas cake.
This got me thinking. More so since my recent experience in Uganda - about inherited values.
Faith brings many. Time tells a lot. Parents bring forth some. 
Are new values being spoken? Will the children of the future have less or more then we do now?
Will their values mean what ours do now?
When my brain swells up around the word values I think truth, honesty, integrity – suppose they all mean the same thing.
Shouldn’t that be the basis of all values?
The inherited values…

Sunday, 26 December 2010

People, Purpose & Power!

Stemming out of Uganda Wishes, I am now focusing my thoughts on a new project called People, Purpose and Power!
The idea is to photograph people, then on the flip side tell their story – their purpose, hope, wish for the world. 
In Uganda especially I found so many people wanted their picture taken. Likely, they may never have an opportunity to get a copy of a picture of themselves.
This fellow asked me to take his picture.
I would print two copies of the picture with their purpose on the spot then juxtapose the photographs in some streetscape skyline where passerby’s can view. A copy would also go as a keep sake to the person. At night the images and words would be broadcast onto the side of a building...
A guard (without his gun) wanted his picture taken.
I view it as an art expose with a purpose of taking up a conscious shift of awareness into the future of the world.
What do YOU think?

Friday, 24 December 2010

Heart Talk Mind Speak

The mind controls the body.
The soul takes care of the heart.
How is the heart activated?
With feelings.
How are feelings controlled?
By the mind?
As easy as a light switch can be turned on, we too can turn it off.
Take the emotions. Affection. Awareness. Instincts. Intuition.
Physical sensations.
Then there is the spirit.
What about it?
When the heart talks, does the mind speak?

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Uganda Wishes - Gratitude

With thanks to the following individuals for believing in and supporting the project Uganda Wishes:

Alice King, SARK -best selling author & artist, Sherry Bezanson, Authentic Sue, Succulent Leslie, Daring Dawn, Gifted Marilyn, Lilian Hudson, Carolyne Taylor, Tara and Tim Coulter, Vancouver Island Maritime Academy, Jo Mrozewski, Dr. Jim Sparling, Diane Maxted, Fiona Percy, Remarkable Molly, Kyle Marshall and Friends of Mengo Hospital (Canada).

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Shattered Senses

Continents divide
Reality strikes
Dreams conquer
But lust does not expire.

With the evolution of time
Is lapsed guilt,
What is said…
Is it known?

I divide time
Between the heart
The home,
Will and the throne.

Between now and there
A phone call awaits.
Expectations due
For the senses that ensue.

Known to be
Now as I
Alone I am
With the love
From a far.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Two is You

“Feel your heart. Let your heart feel mine.”
It went something like that.
I replied with, “Fear.”
He understood.
I had met a beautiful soul.
We’d boda-boda’d. Eaten dinner. Now we were dancing. I was the only mzungu in the place. Three dance floors. Less space as the night went on. Ratio of men to women – ten to one.
We got a crowd. The mzungu shaking it up with the six foot fiver Lugandan man.
There was Ugandan reggae, rap and pop. Some electro.
It was so much fun.
The guard with the gun at the entrance said we could dance till 6 a.m. I was delighted.
Besides a couple water breaks and one game of billiards, we lasted until 2 a.m.
My African man is Muslim. If wealth exists, so he tells me – he can have four wives. I ask him how many so far? He says two.
“One in Uganda and two is you.”
I laugh and squeeze my wrap around his waste.
A pal before I departed Canada predicted I would meet my future husband in Uganda. This rested in the back of my mind.
It’s been almost a week since I left. I mull over what I did do on my African voyage. My six weeks in Uganda. Uganda Wishes.
Many have asked will I return?
At first I thought no. But now my heart sings yes. There’s the northeast to explore. More documentation post election of people and their wishes. Mt. Elgon to climb.
And of course I stray back to my soul, with the African heart and smile to think.
Two is you.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

What Matters Most

For sure I see things differently. For anyone who has visited a developing country and comes home – it would be the same.
We live materialistically. I’m shuddering through the culture shock. Coming home at Christmas time. People talking shopping and buying gifts. For what? Giving. Why?
I think back to last week. In Uganda.
The streets are busy. Lugandans celebrate Christmas. Not all, the Muslims don’t. People talk holidays. Family. Coming together.
It may not be turkey and stuffing. Though I did see the odd turkey on the street. Legs bound together. Lying flat on the side of the road. Or carried by their legs upside down.
It’s hot in Uganda. The days find individuals sleeping in a cool ditch or under a tree. Away from the harsh rays of the sun.
But the nights come alive. In a magical way. Everywhere. Little oil lights. Or kerosene. It’s an outdoorsy lifestyle. Music in the streets. Food vendors barbeque or skillet something hot.
So I ponder, what matters most about this time of year?
Is to be together with the ones you love? For families to share? For love to shine? To love and to be loved?
Yes, that’s what matters most.
To love and to be loved.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Uganda Wishes – A Conscious Shift

Didn’t take long for me to miss Uganda. Even the chaos. The dysfunction. But mostly – the people.
In discussing the spirit of the people tonight, I uncovered a profound tidbit of consequence. I’m at a Christmas party. Amongst mostly strangers. As I reeled off my opinionated conclusions (see yesterday's post) for Uganda and Africa’s future (Africa is the only one that can help Africa) - I again stumbled upon the question. How can things change from the historical place they have come from?
My question was given an answer with some hope.
The collective conscious can make the change.
That’s what I heard. If the people can come together – many spoke of unity – then a shift is possible.
Peter Tongue is a spiritual grounder. He’s enlightened many. He provided me with this insight.
But how I asked myself as I left the party. How can that happen? What will that look like?
I suppose by people talking about it. By a circle being formed with minds carrying the same wave length. Through prayers for peace. Through innovative conscious awareness that things don’t have to be the same. They can be made better.
The old saying goes – where there is a will, there is a way.
A conscious shift.
That’s the way.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Uganda Wishes - Concludes

It wasn’t my intention when I left Canada to criticize Africa – or Uganda for that matter. Rather to document the hope. Presume the innocent are innocent. Even though I was exploited by veteran visitors not to trust anyone. It turns out, what most said is somewhat true.

Why though? Why is there so much distrust, theft, poverty and corruption in Uganda? In Africa? Aid pours in everyday. Foreigners set up orphanages. NGO’s.
It’s rumoured that profits sit in administrator's back pockets. Lugandans fear help. For each other. Why? Why no trust?

In six weeks I learned how to survive in Uganda. To manage myself. To buy bottled water. To eat cooked foods. To keep my cameras hidden and my money belt inside my skirt at my crotch. To avoid driving into downtown Kampala during rush hour. Full stop.

In the first week I was counting the days. By the second I’d declared utter dysfunction. I was even heard to say, “Africa is fucked.”
But by the third week I’d grown acceptance. In the fourth I was a blended Mzungu. During the fifth and sixth weeks I started to learn the speak and fell in love with a beautiful soul. An African man. A muslim. From Uganda.

Leaving was sad. Very sad. I’d come to know it as home. The early morning sunrises - a cornucopia of colours, lights and sounds. To run before the heat. Before the traffic. To awake with the birds in high treble. The monotones of the garish storks. Always a rooster. Even in the dusk of the still night’s air. Live or canned. Always the sound of music.

Come a Sunday the gospel sway. Everyday early morning prayers. Goats. A cow. Traffic. Non-stop horns honking.
Savvy street smarts when crossing – at anytime. Who to buy fruit from. When to ask what it costs. Clarifying Mzungu or Lugandan prices?
Yes, leaving Uganda has been difficult. Africa is in my heart. But I’ve learned. I’ve spoken to many. Doctors, nurses, teachers, tourism professionals, HIV/AIDS patients, children, teenagers, IT professionals - even housemaids. What keeps these people going in the face of such adversity?
Faith. Their faith. Their belief that God will fight the battle for them.
And hope. There is hope. Their hope lies in stability. Renewed leadership of trust. An end to corruption. Education for all. Skills training. Peace. Peace for stability. Peace for economic development.
But will it happen soon?

At the grassroots level t-shirts wear the words, Peace and stability, or Do you know your child’s HIV status? and Discipline, stamina, knowledge, sills for social and economic transformation

As I sit aboard a 747 I contemplate again. What can I do? What can the world do?
Unity. Sharing of knowledge. Resources. Spoken from many when I asked for their wish for the world.

A man from the Netherlands sits next to me. He’s an irrigation consultant who has been working in Kenya. He tells me of Transparency International. A public poll of corruption. ID’ing the sources. What’s affected you, by who and how? In Kenya the media is low, the police are high.

Transparency. Will that work to erase corruption? To identify the sources and oust them from power? What if the power is too strong? Like in politics.
I know my wish for Uganda. That people develop trust in one another. To share the wealth. The rich help the poor. The poor know more. Most importantly, for everyone to have an opportunity to learn to read and write. For everyone to have fair access to health care. For the future with a HIV free generation.

Meanwhile, I head back to the comforts of Canada. To a television set. Reliable Internet access. A mobile phone network that can manage the volume. A toilet that flushes. A shower that works. The availability of water – at all times. Power that rarely turns off. The ability to walk into a grocery store and not leave your backpack at the front door. To go to bank machine without a guard with a gun. To walk into a restaurant and not have your bag checked or your body swept with a metal detector. To accept the change as being right when you’ve paid for goods. To not have to lock your bedroom door, your front door and your backdoor during the day when you’re home. To look out the window and there be no metal grates protecting the glass. To walk home and into your front door without a No hawkers allowed sign displayed. To forget about your laundry being hung up overnight on the clothes line and not have to fear it being stolen in the night.

Yes, Uganda is full of mistrust. From the top down. A case of survival? True. But Uganda is also full of beauty.

A lush rich fertile land with sunshine, warm air, night rains, wildlife in their natural habitat and women who everyday look their best. It’s also full of hope. People with dreams and strength to make things better. To improve the lives for everyone.

Peace will come.
It will take time.
Africa will fix Africa.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Uganda Wishes – Border Towns

Please note: this post was originally written December 7.

At the Congo/Uganda border
The winds arrive then the rain leaves. The start of the dry season. So it has been heard. The winds warped the tent most of the night. I lay awake a good long while listening.
The men are hustling this morning to get the roof trusses up and beat the mid-day sun. Eight of them carry the trusses. The morning goes by. Rollers brush on a primer paint for the facing boards.
Congo/Uganda border market
I look out for Wilson who promised to take me to the Congo border market. Both Colleen and I hop on a boda-boda together. In the Congo trucks are loaded four stories high. Women cater to their heads carrying food and fuel. There’s a line-up for the fuel. Plastic water bottles fill to the brim with gasoline. Wilson says for lights. The roads amongst this town look like something out of a Western movie. A truck drives through and sinks deep. Pop bottles rattle in the back as the driver tries to meander out.
We stop for a soda after visiting the Congo market material row. A brilliant show of colourful material ready to be sewn into a lavish dress. Rows of food, salt even and flour. The sight is unseen before my eyes.
Salt for sale...
I don’t last long with the hustle and soon spin back. At PODA’s camp in Bwera I get asked again, “Is there religion in Canada?"
Do these people know their destiny I think to myself? Probably not. Who does? But for many, to carry on – it’s their faith that keeps them going.
I sit with Moses, a teacher. I pose the Uganda Wishes question on him. What is your wish for Uganda today?
“I hope it to be ok,” he says. “Bit of a problem in Uganda. Leadership not good for someone to stay too long. Need to bring stability,” he explains. “We need change. Lacking jobs because we are lacking skills. Education is not up to date. We are lacking skilled labour. Why people are blaming the government. Very few people can build. Few schools even for mechanics. Because of money, people drop out. Vocational school wasted they become thieves and thugs,” he explains.
I ask him for his wish for the world.
“Peace. At least when you have peace in the world, you can have harmony.”
The trusses are up!
The day wraps up. We all decide since it’s both Cam and I’s last night in Bwera that we head out for a drink.
It’s the only building in Bwera that I’ve seen at night with some funky flashing blue and red lights. We stroll through the entrance into a courtyard at the back where we unload rows of plastic chairs. I immediately think dance floor. But there’s no music.
We talk amongst ourselves while we hear the shrieks and screams of children begging at the metal walled doorways. Quietly we ignore their pleas.
Again I imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t had this opportunity to visit Africa. Tomorrow I head back to Kampala and soon back home to Canada.
I am grateful. Truly I feel rich.
Sunset in Bwera

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Uganda Wishes – Bwera Wrapping Up

A view to the Congo.
To think yesterday the whole village ate the cow. (Post originally written Dec. 6).
The clean-up is underway after yesterday’s African wedding celebration for Peter and Natalie. I sit amongst some locals posing for their cameras. Joy is in the air.
I speak to some of the young men. Two want to become doctors, one a lawyer. I listen with hope. They also claim they want access to music. The young villagers are using sticks to play the cultural dancers rhythm box. Slabs of wood. Numbered for tonal definition.
The music box!
It’s time to sit down with Nelson. I watch as men untie the wood framing of the pavilion. We plant ourselves amongst the tear down. Where everything took place yesterday.
He shares with me his wish for Uganda today.
“My wish is improving the livelihood of the people, so the people get land and can match their environment,” he explains.
“For the whole world, I wish for stability. Peace and joy. Where there is peace, there is development. Where there is joy, the development comes in.”
My mind circles around the word infrastructure. Needed first. Accessible water, sanitation (at the camp we have a cement hole the size of matoki in our outhouse). Roads without potholes. A power supply.
Later Nelson takes me for a walk. To the river bordering the Congo and past where some collect water. Also a watering hole for the local waragi – distilled banana hooch.
Coffee trees.
Along the way we pass crops of g-nuts, coffee, vanilla beans, rice, maize, beans, banana trees, palm oil trees, yams, tea, a plant which Nelson claims only two leaves boiled to a bitter two cups of tea cures malaria. Also a tobacco plant. I’m delighted to witness the lush and richness of the land. Scattered mud huts abound. Intertwined soil paths lead the way. We follow a guide.
Vanilla beans.
Women carry water up a steep hill.
Another view to the Congo.
Children entertain themselves in the river floating downstream with Jerry cans. Some splash in from up high.
The river running through the Congo border.
Upon our return trip I discuss with Nelson the fear of disclosure and HIV/AIDS. He explains AIDS is like any other disease. Cancer is in some cases a curable disease. We mope on the stigma around it. He tells me there are songs and drama made for awareness. To shed the right light.
In camp again I sit around idly chatting to more locals. I hear how the cash crops in the area include both coffee and cotton. Cotton sold to the textile industry in nearby Jinja.
The tents frolic about in the wind. I start to think about going back home to Canada. What I will do and how things will be different. Have I changed?
Africa has lots of work to do. To become a country for competition. For advancement. To fill the people’s lives with hope. I imagine positive results for Uganda with the election. An end to corruption. That peace and joy prevail and the hope for the nation will be one filled with freedom. Freedom from HIV. Freedom from corruption. Freedom from the sorrow and poverty.
But if the riches come, will the corruption increase?
The generator blares and the winds continue to stir up dust. I wonder what those back home really know about Africa.
Eventually you find your comfort level in Africa. Then it’s time to leave. You get used to young men walking down the street holding hands. Even younger women wearing children close to their backs. Goats tethered on the sides of the road. Women carrying the weight of water or wood on their heads. Bicycles with barefoot pedalers. Pineapples hanging from rat traps. Men with guns.
What does Africa mean to me? It will take time once I arrive home to answer that. Tomorrow concludes my time in Bwera.
Soon also, my time in Africa

Friday, 10 December 2010

Uganda Wishes - Bwera Celebrates

Beans readying for the feast!
I awake to the cow moaning. Along with village excitement. It’s the big day. Nat and Pete’s African wedding celebration. 
Nelson, Cobra’s Project lead is scurrying around attending to the pavilion. A structure so far of wooden posts. Lacking a roof or tarp.
The jajjas are busy grinding g-nuts and peeling matoki. Women pour into the camp with paddles and pots. A make-shift cook area is set up near the school. No work today for the men.
G-nuts being ground and matoki being peeled.
Natalie and Peter have already departed to prepare. Meanwhile, poor Colleen has succumbed to a tummy bug and has spent much of the morning diving into the bushes. She claims the day will make it better.
Chickens step around, young chicks chirping behind. I haven’t touched an egg since I’ve been in Africa. Breakfast includes boiled eggs and g-nuts. I see what the chickens feed on – mostly garbage so again I pass.
The day is setting up to be a scorcher. At 9:15 a.m. we’re already melting. The music has started to arrive. The generator is set up and the PA system is coming together.
It’s official the cow is dead. I watch the cooks hover over the hide. The head sticks out of a pot. For the Lhukonzo the meat will be welcome.
Children play nearby with the rim of a bicycle wheel. They chase it by pushing it along with a stick. I meet Geoffrey a teacher with a Fine Arts Diploma. I have pencil crayons and coloured markers donated by my friend the Holistic Sailor back home. I pass them over to him. His face lights up like a Christmas tree. He is entirely grateful.
I pose my Uganda Wishes question on him. What is your wish for Uganda today?
“I wish to get jobs for Uganda,” he says. “A start for the future.”
For the world I ask?
“I wish for peace and at the same time peace in Uganda. I wish for transparency. I wish that corruption would come to end. The mistreatment of the poor.”
I unload the last hacky sack passed again over to me from the Holistic Sailor on the children gathered around. I show them how. To share. I leave them to play then sneak up on them with my video camera. Then I recite what I know in their language. All four words. Good morning, good afternoon, good and thank you. They tell me back. Then I ask them to repeat the word Canada. I leave them to fumble around with the hacky sack and venture over to the cooking.
The men have taken the axe to the cow now. They’re hacking it up for the pots. Women cut up onions and tomatoes. Others tend to the stews.
The make-shift cooking area for the feast.
The tarps are up. I see the ladies carrying benches probably from the church, two each on their heads. What balance. The mzungus await in the shade. One by one we’ve dressed in our Sunday best.
The music starts. A little reggae, some Ugandan rap. Finally Peter and Natalie arrive. Nelson shows them the steps - they are welcomed. There is a crowd of jajjas (grandmothers), children and young adults. Every seat is filled. A Ugandan anthem is sung. Soon speeches with some translation. The heat burns on. Poor Colleen continues to throw up.
Natalie and Peter Hunt in their African attire.
They thank Natalie and Mr. Peter for building the school. They have both been graced with African names. Peter is Mubere and Natalie is Katusime. A Bwera Policeman represents the community with a speech.
“A house is built of bricks and stone. A marriage is built of love alone,” he says.
The children have such rhythm. I ask the young women to show me the moves. There is expression to the dances. Even the eyes dance!
Lunch is served. Everyone is fed. No forks. I watch them eat with their hands. I decide to take a walk to Bwera for a break.
I see many children along the highway. They chase me opposite the road yelling mzungu – mzungu!
In the town of Bwera I meet up with other PODA members. Colleen has been taken to the hospital. I jump in to visit her. She’s on an IV drip and is starting to feel better.
We return to the celebration. The cultural dancers are up now. What a show! It’s filled with ooh, ahhh and laughter.
One of the traditional dancers.
I question how anyone can say these people must hate their lives. How can they? They really don’t know any different.
After the celebration with the school in the background.
The sun leaves the clouds. The crowds begin to dissipate. The mountain air instills more voices. Cheerful happy voices. The village won’t go to sleep any time soon.
The village is happy.
Nelson's father leaves the celebration on foot.

Uganda Wishes – Bwera Prepares

Another morning. I walk to the view of the Congo. We’re near the border. I’m allowed to pass. Locals continue to giggle as I announce good morning in their language. Many on route to fetch water or bring home firewood. Yellow Jerry cans strapped to their foreheads. I find the church at the top of the hill. Alone. Perched clearly for the beauty.
There’s an interesting take on names here. I arrive back at camp in time for breakfast. Dear Innocent is refused food as he’s shown up without a formal request to work. He’s been a volunteer yet he doesn't want to leave. Both Natalie and Peter have given him money to go home. Kathy, a nurse – also from Victoria speaks of others she’s met. Desire is one name. Truly it is his name.
Can’t be a hypochondriac here in Uganda. You have to suck it up. Access to medical care isn’t a hop skip and a jump away.
Peter and Natalie Hunt of PODA
The chickens lope around freely. Pete walks on damage control. He’s announced there is no wood for a fire. No wood to cook lunch. I feel hungy yet I bite my tongue. Innocent was refused food. Yet he works on. Adamant he stay. No lure to leave. Others nearby look malnourished. Round tummies bound.
The children play for song. All look happy. I ponder on.
Kathy the nurse sees a young boy, Steven. Lesions stay his skin. Unknown reasons. Talk of jiggers. Yet the cause not true. We’re not doctors here. Only nurses. With love and care for what we can do.

I busy waving flies and think to myself tomorrow is the wedding. Pete has already seen his jacket. He fears for loud. Maybe from a 1980’s saxophone band era? The colours speak.
Yet we await Nat’s preparation. Rumours are to expect the villages around and more. For celebration, food, music and dance. We imagine order. Yet a muddle of locals with collaboration is expected to ensue.
I picture the ground breaker aka the brick maker. A team of men shovel, mix and squeeze, they pour out fast. And stack to the right. Age dries them up. The walls go high. The school has progressed.

Intake of water is low in the system, while the consumption is high. So claims the plumber who I sit down to speak with. He illustrates how the women suffer carrying the water. He says he’s requested the government to survey the land for infrastructure. The villages need to pay. $500 Uganda shillings per month. A lot to them. Less then a dollar for us.
The lizards scratch around as we speak. A chicken chases one. Unsuccessfully.
The plumber thinks the mzungus should pay. I tire from that talk. Since we’ve been speaking, I decide to ask him his wish for Uganda today.
“I wish for Uganda for stability. Unity. Better leadership. In Uganda, in that moment you have all those things you become free. Free to work in a free land. We say united we stand – united we fall.”
After I ask him for his wish for the world.
“To have peace in the whole world.”
I tell him his English is very good. He tells me he is the seventh son of his father and claims English was brought by the British to colonize Uganda.
“We have our own native languages,” he reiterates.

The sacrificial cow has arrived. To be slaughtered for the African wedding celebration tomorrow for Natalie and Peter.
I spend some time handing out clothing to needy children. The young crawl around in rags. My pockets are empty. It’s all I can do.
Along comes Wilson. He’s finished his studies and has qualified to be a tutor. Soon a teacher. So I ask him his wish for Uganda.
“I want Uganda to develop. To be diverse in technology – politically, economically - then socially. Manufacturing industries like cement, mining, welding. These industries can help Uganda develop,” he says.
The wish for the world?
“That the developed countries liberate with the third world countries. Expose their technology to the third world countries, then they can come up,” he concludes.
I take a Stoney break (a ginger tasting soda) and walk down to the end of the road. Another swarming of children. Young and ruthless for serving the smiles. They laugh together and giggle with looks.
I decide to test out my Ugandan dance style with the kids. I get my HD camera out and flip the viewfinder their way. They’re in love to see their faces. Soon a crowd.
Local women sit on the road scrubbing their hair for tomorrow. Chitter chatter, pitter patter. I hear children mimic the moo of the cow. Clearly we’ve brought some sunshine. No rain now for three days.
There’s excitement in the air as Bwera prepares.