Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mt Ngyetta

Last week, all the head staff of the Northern Uganda programs (Gulu and Lira) met in Lira to go over the Country Strategy for Northern Uganda in preparation for the big meeting next week in Kampala. It was a long meeting, 10am to 8pm, but we got it finished, and agreed on the North’s approach to the future of ACF. Because I realized I needed a vacation, and everything has been so hectic, I decided to stay in Lira for the weekend, sit in the hammock on the porch and read. There’s no internet at the guest house there, so I blissfully stayed away from my computer. On Saturday Martha (a Uganda and the program Manager for the Nutrition program) and I walked into Lira town and explored a bit. Neither of us had been there before, so it was fun strolling around, seeing a new town.

That evening I joined Erik, the German program manager for the Food Security program in Lira, and went to dinner at the house of a few German friends of his. Their compound was beautiful – an open-air tukl (traditional hut) with two hammocks, a chicken house, goats, ducks, doggie, garden, and a wonderful house. I was a bit jealous, but maybe my house will be comparable some day. We had a great dinner.

The next day, Martha, Erik and I joined the two Germans and two visiting Spaniards (with Rambo, the German Shepherd, in the process of being renamed Mango to take away some of the fierceness) headed to Mt. Ngyetta. They call it a mountain, but from top to bottom, it took my probably 15 minutes to climb. Locals sit at the base, hammering away at the large boulders that fall down from the hill, making aggregate, one piece at a time. Those of you who have been to Nepal know what I am talking about…

The day was gorgeous, and the view phenomenal. The flatness and greenness of the country was surprising, flat in every direction. The sounds of kids playing, people working, and church music drifted up to my seat high upon a rock at the top of the mountain. The slight breeze made the sun tolerable, and the absence of people was invigorating – the beauty of nature is one of the most energizing and inspiring things I ever feel.

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