Monday, September 24, 2007

Kampala Day One

wow. this is so surreal. waking up in africa. so far from everyone i love.
the smell in the air here is musky and sweet and full. last night on the way into kampala, we drove along a bumpy road lined with groups of people walking/biking/hanging out. tons of small communities all out in the evening. there's small huts made out of tin by the side of the road. and there aren't any rules on the road so drivers communicate by using their brights. takes a bit of getting used to!!

as we got into the city, there was a little boy of maybe 6 carrying a small baby in his arms begging for money in the traffic. it's hard to know the best response. their parents put them out there... seems so dangerous...

we had a later dinner with calvin, a friend of diana's from soroti (eastern uganda) who spoke passionately about the definition of poverty and how it's changed in uganda. he spoke about how the westerners create such dependency and degredation and the ugandans end up being informed of the poverty they live in. what's considered wealthy in their communities is family/friends/land. but he sees the effect of donor dependency everyday and how people are more focused on getting money now more than ever...

calvin is the son of a chief and one of 24 children! he is a leader in his community and incredible to speak with!! 's so interesting learning about the politics of humanitarian aid and the negative social effects it can have on these communities, even if it's well intended.

we're off to northern uganda today in pader where we'll meet with mercy corps in the idp camps!! i can't wait!

still can't believe i'm here in africa...

1 comment:

Jackie said...

Hey Stephanie

It's Jackie Curleigh (we met at the muddy boots day trying on Nau clothing).....I've been checking out your site and just wanted to say what you and Gordon are doing is truely amazing! I really believe and agree with you that each individual can make a difference and you two are certainly proving that.
I know the concert series will be starting soon but would love to get involved and help out somehow...let me know if and what I can do.
Enjoy the experience in Africa!