Friday, March 28, 2014

"Another beautiful day in Uganda"

The title of this entry is something I literally say every day when I get up and see the sun rising above a nearby hill from our perch atop the highest of the seven hills in Uganda. Seriously, every day is beautiful -- from a weather perspective, but from our experiences here, too.

Joyce and I have settled nicely into Uganda. Work is going well: a lot to do to bring the level of journalism up to where it should be, but a lot of dedicated folks here helping me get it there (and some not-so-dedicated folks who will be dedicated soon, or...).

And I know I've made promises in the past about keeping this blog updated, but now it will happen. Every Saturday morning, I will get up and post updates here. Joyce, too, has started a blog -- "We're Not in Kansas Anymore" -- that can be found at Check it out for updates, too. She is addressing more of the everyday-life events, particularly in her life in Uganda, while I'll be looking at issues from my perspective. In many ways, it's much different (and more difficult) for her. I have a job to go to every day, and one that challenges me every day. She does not, but she will be volunteering at a school just down the hill from where we live (at The Seventeen atop Kololo -- and, if interested, you can search for it on Google to get an idea of where we live by putting in the name and Kampala). That should make it better for her, though she, too, will tell you that she's enjoying this adventure.

We've done a bit exploring; more to come on that. We do have a car we like, which gives us mobility. But for work and longer excursions, I have a driver (who fetches me every morning, takes me places in the day [or night], when necessary, and deposits me at home each evening). We've hired a driver for Joyce, though we're hoping to get him off those duties and into a job at the radio station in our building because that's what he's trained for. He's a great young man (Lubega Henry) who has Kansas ties: I found him through MacKenzie Jones who works in African Studies at KU. She and her husband were in Kampala during the unrest last election time, and Henry was very protective of them. "I'd trust my life with him," MacKenzie says. Henry is a terrific young man whom we now count among the good friends we've already made here.

That's all for now. Getting ready to head out to pick up my driver from work and his daughter to have a "day on the town" together, and instead of him driving me (us), I'll be chauffeuring him and his daughter (and Joyce) to some special spots and eating places. Kabs (the driver) is a great young man to whom we would trust our lives.

The people of Uganda, by the way (and as you can likely tell) are among the nicest -- if not the nicest -- we've run into anywhere in our world travels. Truly, already, we've made a score of friends, from every level of society, during our now five weeks here. We're lovin' it.

And on Monday, the U.S. ambassador, whose residence is just two doors down from us on Kololo Hill Drive, is having Joyce and me over "for drinks." I'll let you know how that goes.

Please comment if you can (because we like to hear from folks back home) or ask any questions you might have about what's going on here. I promise to address all, and I promise (one I'll keep this time) to update this at least once each week.

Oh, and y'all come. We've got room, and every day you wake up you'll be saying what I say: "Another beautiful day in Uganda."

P.S.: I've changed the title of this blog from "Going Over Sixty" to "Going Over Seventy." Guess why! And the photo is of us last weekend at the wildlife preserve in Entebbe, about 25 miles from us. (We're the ones in the foreground, not the ones wearing stripes!) 'Twas wonderful. And I also found Honey-flavored Cheerios at a store along the way, so life is good.