Joyce and I are back in Uganda after some "R&R" in Lawrence and Boston.
We had a great time at home -- hectic but relaxing traveling 8,000 miles, then shuttling between Boston-Lawrence-Boston. And it was fun to see Jennifer, Adam and Chris in Boston, and many friends in Lawrence (especially golf with Pam!). And getting former student, soon-to-be-grad-student Travis Robinett settled into the house on Holiday Drive.
But it's great to be back here, too.
Jet lag wasn't too bad, and we both picked up colds on the way back to the U.S., but mostly back to normal here -- including work. The Monitor is facing many of the same challenges that news operations are facing in the U.S., but the potential, in my view, is much greater here. Stay tuned.
And we have excitement today on two fronts: hosting a BBQ today and the arrival of three special visitors who'll be staying with us this next week.
Today, we're hosting 11 Indiana University students for a BBQ at our place (by the pool, of course). We'll have chicken and goat (and beer and wine). And Scott and Leija DeLisi are planning to stop by to say "hi" (and eat, too, we assume). Scott is the U.S. ambassador who lives just two "doors" down the hill, an easy walk up to us, then down back home, from us.
The IU students, under the guidance of Prof. Jim Kelly, worked with our Monitor colleagues on two special reports on HIV/AIDS in Uganda. Their work should start appearing as soon as next week. All reports indicate that the project will be first-rate.
As for Prof. Jim, he led many sessions for our photo staff. This is how successful it was. The photo chief came to me and said: "He's the best professor I've ever known." I replied: "Cool! But what about me?" "He's the best professor I've ever known," he repeated -- with a big grin.
And the other big news is that we are picking up three folks from the airport tonight at 9:45 p.m.
Two former students -- Sarah, nee Hill, Green and Lauren Beatty -- along with Sarah's husband, Chris. We are so excited (and honored because, right after I had accepted the job in December, they quickly announced that they were coming for a visit!!! OK, who's next?)
Many plans, which I will post in this spot, including white-water rafting on the Nile in nearby Jinja, a visit upcountry to two game preserves (elephants, lions, hippos, crocs and more!), a visit to our driver-friend's home village (where we were given the rooster), and lots more!
We will be posting photos and updates.
Gotta run. Heading out to buy beer and ice and etc. for today's party...and our Kansas contingent.