Bunia, DRC and a visit with my aunt in Kampala, Uganda

After finishing up in Dungu, we landed in Bunia on February 24th for a nice weekend off. The next week was spent doing an inventory of the emergency preparedness stock, including things like jerrycans and tent poles…

Jerrycans stacked against a wall. Bunia, DR Congo
Tent poles. Bunia, DR Congo

On March 2nd, I flew to Kampala, Uganda. First, the plane took us to Entebbe International Airport to clear customs, then a very short seven minute flight from Entebbe to Kajjansi Airfield.

Leaving Bunia:

Bunia from above

The mountains just outside Bunia:

Mountains just outside Bunia, DR Congo

A mountain-top village just outside Bunia:

Mountain village just outside Bunia, DR Congo

Landing at Entebbe International Airport, Uganda:

Landing at Entebbe International Airport, Uganda

Looking back toward Entebbe as we flew to Kajjansi:

Flying from Entebbe to Kajjansi, Uganda

One of many opulent homes seen from above when flying from Entebbe to Kajjansi:

Rich person

Kajjansi Airfield from above:

Kajjansi Airfield, Uganda

Aside from the one night spent in transit in early January, I hadn’t been to Uganda since my three week visit over Christmas at the end of 2002. This time around I only had four days, but it was a welcome chance to spend a lot of time with my Aunty Jo and some of the other wonderful Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Kampala. We had a great time catching up and chatting about a million different topics, and they fed me really, really well!

Me and my aunt:

Me and Aunty Jo, Kampala, Uganda

Aunty Jo with sisters Ursula and Lynette, beside Lake Victoria:

Aunty Jo, Ursula, and Lynette in Kampala, Uganda

Despite being a huge city, Kampala still has a fair few animals, both domestic and wild, such as these Ankole-Watusi cattle (long-horned zebu):

Ankole-Watusi cattle in Kampala, Uganda

I also spotted a chipmunk eating a peanut, just like in a cartoon:

Chipmunk eating a peanut in Kampala, Uganda

In a tree, about six feet from the ground, I spotted a tiny little tree frog:

Tree frog in Kampala, Uganda
Tree frog in Kampala, Uganda

When I returned to the house on foot after having lunch with a friend in another part of the city, I found about fifteen or twenty banded mongooses running through the area and managed to catch a pair of the slower ones as they ran away:

Banded mongooses in Kampala, Uganda

Pretty soon my time in Uganda was up, and I was off to the airport once more…

Juba, South Sudan

I’ve been in Juba, South Sudan for nearly 6 weeks now but have been so busy with work that I’ve not had time to prepare any blog posts or reply to many personal emails. I like my work as a logistician here, but the days (and nights) are very long and it’s difficult to spend much time away from the office.

On Wednesday, as I came out of the United Nations World Food Programme office here in Juba, I walked right into this:

Zebu cattle in Juba

Standing in the middle of the road as dozens of zebu cattle with massive horns walk directly toward me, it dawned on me that this might seem strange to some of my friends and family. For me, it just seemed normal, another nice photo opportunity for the point-and-shoot that’s always in my pocket.

Last night, a couple of recently arrived friends went to a local watering hole (a bar, not an actual watering hole) and when they returned one of them recounted how he had been surprised to see men with very large guns at the door, positioned there in order to ensure that the other men with large guns don’t try to join the Saturday night crowd inside.

Funny how these things seem perfectly normal to many if not most of us here and in other areas where humanitarian workers are posted.