I am not exactly sure why, but for some reason I have completely stopped reading news or keeping up with the world in any way since I've arrived in Uganda. It may be due to a general lack of Internet and power but I suspect it's due more to a lack of motivation. It's kind of awesome that I have no idea who will be running for US office or what Michelle bauchman recently said. I'm sure I'll get back into it at some point, but I'm currently relying on the goodheartedness of my friends and family to cue me into giant things that would be embarrassing not to know about. So, the next time you talk to me, it would not at All be non-sequitir to suddenly segue from a conversation about weather into, "so, you know that financial crisis in America?" because, I probably should know about it.
I have read exactly three articles in the last 8 months, of varying significance to the world and my life. One of these was accidental and horrifying and happened when I accidently let my eyes skim over the front page of a Ugandan newspaper that said something absurd like "pop star Barbie has a close kiss (brush??)with death... And likes it" with an accompanying photo of a crazily dressed woman with giant sunglasses making a smoochie face at the camera. Luckily, I haven't had many other close brushes with Ugandan media
The second article I read was one that popped up when I idly googled east African news, figuring that I should have some vague notion of what was happening in the region I live in. The first story that popped up was "man killed by his beloved rhinocerous pet". I guess this man had encountered a lot of adversity to prove to the world that you can indeed domesticate rhinocerousds and raise them as loving pets. After that article, I couldn't really stomach the idea of reading more east African news... I live 5 minutes from Congo, so it migt be relevant, but if
I can't handle reading about an unlikely pet tragedy... So the last article and perhaps most relevant, was a lonelyplanet that listed Uganda as the number 1 destination for this year!! I call this a victory and also a shameless plug to consider coming to visit me sometime over the next year and a half.
Uganda as a whole is a fascinating small country with all of the African animals and tourist attractions that you can think of, but what's even better is that I happen to live in the least- developed and visited part of the country. West Nile is the forgotten corner of Uganda, cut off from the rest of the country by the Nile river
and by tribalism. It also happens to be the birth place of idi Amin (his house is right down the street ) and the west Nile virus. The people here are often described as "war like" and "primitive " which I think goes to show the divide between the south and the north , and the tribalism that this divide engenders. The people aren't "primitive"- that's an awful categorizing word- but they are fantastically friendly, exuberant, and welcoming. The west Nile is also thought of as the bush (or to us the boonies) , but I'm frankly grateful for the relative remoteness- the endless stretches of scrub Savanah, the rolling hills, the clean air, the tops of grass thatch huts that peek over the high grass like the tops of mushrooms. Come visit me and experience a unique and rather untouched part of Uganda. I promise it beats kampala's pollution and traffic.