Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Feels Like Home

The power went out about an hour or two after I arrived in Entebbe last night, and it hasn’t come back on even though it’s now the late afternoon.  It usually goes off when storms come through, and one did about 40 minutes after I arrived here to the Backpacker’s Inn.  One of my favorite things in Uganda is the storms; they are quite magical and peaceful, as long as you’re dry!  And luckily, the tent I slept in stayed dry throughout the storm. 

Here’s a shot of the Inn, with tents similar to mine in the background.  Beautiful!

I’ll be spending the next few days here until Peter Keller and Joe Brocato arrive from Los Angeles, California, USA.  Then we will go to Kampala so that Joe, who is a documentary filmmaker, can interview some people for the documentary (brief explanation here).  Then we’ll make our way up to Gulu, about a six hour drive on the bus.

Being that this country is relatively “pure,” I am especially mindful of how tourism and “first worlders” are changing things here – both directly and indirectly.  Today I saw several cans of pesticide spray and a few chemical cleaners for the bathroom.  I wonder how much of that would be here if only locals frequented this place.  It’s not that I enjoy ants crawling on me in the night, but when I truly think about the long-term consequences, I’d rather deal with the nastiest of bugs than knowingly and willingly introduce harsh chemicals to this beautiful pristine-like environment.

I also heard and saw quite a few weed-wackers as I walked around town today, the sound made me cringe a little.  I don’t remember seeing that many the last time I was here.   Many people here use hand tools that don’t require electricity or fuel, and I very much appreciate that.  I think all of our convenient inventions could be the death of all that is beautiful in this world if we’re not careful.  Cutting down grass with plastic and metal machines that use fossil fuels doesn’t make much sense to me.  We are slowly removing all the natural beauty in the world and replacing it with plastic, concrete, and pollution of the air, land, water, and wildlife.  I think we need to realize how we’re affecting the ecosystem and look at things more critically to see if we’re really happy with the direction we're heading. 

Even with all the pesticides and weed-wackers, I’m happy to be back!  There are many more positive things I will focus on in the future, these thoughts just hit me like a freight train and I feel the need to share them.  I’m very much looking forward to seeing how the documentary works out, and also seeing all my amazing and resilient friends in Gulu.  The excitement is uncontrollable!

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