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A Day “Going Up Country”

 

The Kafu River. It flows east into the Nile System.
The Kafu River. It flows east into the Nile System.

 

A Word from Curt:

I thought you might enjoy making a journey with me.

At daylight I left the shores of Lake Victoria (Uganda) headed to northern Uganda.

Cosmopolitan Ugandans (in Kampala and Entebbe) call the land past the Nile “Up Country.”

They view it like the the Pharisees viewed Galilee.

Backwoods. Bush.  The Sticks. Country Bumpkins.  We view it as Real Africa.

Tonight I’m in Gulu, home of the Acholi People.  Tomorrow I drive on to Adjumani (Uganda) and the South Sudan refugee camps.

Here are shots from a rich full day of driving.

Key Prayer Need:  We beg you to pray for the borehole (water well) drilling this week.  Pray that these projects will result in born again refugees who find a reason to hope in Jesus.

 

I always slow down for this sign north of Luwero, Uganda.
I always slow down for this sign north of Luwero, Uganda.


Following Him.

Following Jesus.

That’s what it’s all about.

Rather, He is what it’s always all about.

“It’s all about following Him. Everything else is just geography.”

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African Road Flares:  green limbs placed along roadway to signify a disabled vehicle. This is the reason we do not drive after dark.

An aptly named "GaGaa" Bus
An aptly named “Gaagaa” Bus

When we first moved to Uganda, I placed  “ride a bus cross country” on my bucket list.  I quickly withdrew it.  The buses that speed up and down the roads are a menace to riders (many tragic accidents) pedestrians and other vehicles.  I gladly take to the ditch when meeting one.

There are dozens of bus lines.  “GaaGa” is a good name that describes the reaction of carsick riders.

Hawkers crowd a stopped bus. Notice poles to extend wares.
Hawkers crowd a stopped bus. Notice poles to extend wares.

Hawkers know where the buses will stop as well as construction zones.  They flock to the vehicles when they stop.  My favourite hawker item is meat on a stick.  Six skewers of grilled beef, goat, or chicken.

Charcoal for Sale
Charcoal for Sale

Charcoal is a large part of the economy of rural Uganda.  It’s amazing to watch the process of making it.

Chicken Hawker.  He'll wave live chickens at passersby.
Chicken Hawker. He’ll wave live chickens at passersby.

Animal rights people wouldn’t appreciate the dizzyingly way the hawkers swing the chickens to grab your attention.

Pick your Poison:  Drive on the shoulder or roadway. Either way you'd better tighten your girdle and put a little extra polident on your uppers.
Pick your Poison: Drive on the shoulder or roadway. Either way you’d better tighten your girdle and put a little extra polident on your uppers.

A disclaimer:  In the year we’ve driven up country, we’ve seen tremendous improvements on the road connecting the capitals of Kampala and Juba. Each trip there are less patches like this.

I've cross the Nile at Karuma Falls dozens of times but it always takes my breath to both see and hear it.
I’ve crossed the Nile at Karuma Falls dozens of times, but it always takes my breath to both see and hear it.

They are building a hydroelectric dam above Karuma Falls.  It’s uncertain as to the effect it’ll have on the whitewater area.

 
A word on the baboons of Uganda:  Beware!  They are sneaky, aggressive, and quickly view humans (and their vehicles) as sources of food and handouts. They’ll jump through an open car window quicker than you can say “Curious George.”   Ask the Dry Creek guys (Ken Farmer, Charlie B. and Ethan B.) about a Game Park baboon that ambushed us.

One of the infamous Karuma baboons.
One of the infamous Karuma baboons.
Teak Tree Plantation
Teak Tree Plantation

Teak is a prized heavy dark wood.

Tobacco plants
Tobacco plants

 

The main crops of Uganda are cassava, plantains (a cooking banana) maize (field corn), beans, sugar cane, and ground nuts. Tobacco and cotton are cash crops.

Colorful Africa:  Red dirt, green plants, and brown thatched roofs.
Colorful Africa: Red dirt, green plants, and brown thatched roofs.

Anyone who knows me from Dry Creek Camp knows my favourite colours: green, brown, and red earth.  Africa is so rich in each of these.

Two months ago Northern Uganda was brown and burnt.

The coming of the Spring rains changes everything.

Pine plantation in northern Uganda. Made me homesick.
Pine plantation in northern Uganda. Made me homesick.

 

Grain drying in the sun
Grain drying in the sun

 

The Road Less Traveled is always red in Africa.
The Road Less Traveled is always red in Africa.

 

Pray for us:

Tomorrow we arrive in Adjumani District and begin the process of drilling wells (boreholes) in the most needy refugee camps.

Pray for wisdom, protection, clarity, prayer opportunities, Gospel sharing, and humility.

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About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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