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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Star Light Star Bright (Back From The North)

We traveled to Murchison Falls National Park on Friday and returned to Kampala on Sunday.  Internet access there was limited, which provided a great break for the students and faculty.  While we were gone Fred Luganda, one of our colleagues from MUBS posted some excellent information on the Ugandan martyrs and micro finance - two topics that we cover this coming week (look for reflection from studnets soon).  The only disappointment in the trip was the failure to see any lions in the park.  However we did see many hippo, giraffe, elephants, water buffalo, warthogs, multiple species of antelope and baboons (including one which jumped on our van in an attempt to steal our brown bag breakfast).   Our lodging was located on a hill overlooking the Nile river about 80 Km from the nearest main road. The place we stayed (Red Chilli @ Murchison Falls) turns of their electricity at midnight.  Seeing the wildlife is always an incredible experience, however it was equaled by the beauty of the night sky after the the electricity went off.  The stars were very bright and so abundant that they filled the sky.  Anyone who did not stay up late missed an incredible night sky that was so amazing it is difficult to put into words.  At a minimum it made you question why in the US we believe that every street must be lighted -- (is that sustainable and necessary?).

We are back in Kampala for only one night then head to Jinja for a few days to wrap up the trip.  There will likely be a rash of activity on the blog as we have some time to discuss and reflect on the events of the last three weeks, and students finish up comments and posts on the blog.   As everyone is starting to think about home I have heard many people talking about things they miss from home.  The stars last night made me think about things at home that we miss / overlook while there (when was the last time you stopped to look at the stars in the US and were amazed by what you saw?).   I wonder what other things we are missing when we go about our normal lives back home and what things about Uganda we will miss after returning to our daily lives in the US.  Anything come to mind after experiencing Uganda for almost three weeks?   I know for me the answer is the stars at Murchison Falls National Park.

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