Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I am sad to report that in about 10 hours, I will be driving to the airport. I cannot believe the speed of time. It seems that I landed a week ago.

This weekend was a great deal of fun. On Friday, we went to the first showing of Harry Potter in Uganda. The theater was full. I am going to have to see the movie again when I get home because the quality wasn't the best. The top of people's heads were cut off at times and it was sort of blurry at times. At first, i thought that I was watching the 3d version of the movie without the glasses! Nevertheless, I am glad we went and that I was able to read all the books this summer.
On Saturday, I went to Owino Market - the largest in Kampala. Charles - a student at Makere University that lives with Jeremy and Jamie - took me. He is interested in starting a tour company. He was a great guide. One of my favorite things he did was tell me what I should say in Luganda. For instance, when we took taxis, which are more like buses, he told me how to ask the price. The market is massive. They sell everything from fabric to tires to fish to vegetables. I enjoyed walking around. The clothing and shoes sold in the market are all used. They come from many places including Japan and the US. It was great to see where many Ugandans do their shopping.

In the afternoon, I met Alex - EAC's assistant program coordinator - for the Uganda-Kenya rugby match. i do not really understand rugby, but I enjoyed being at the game. The fans get really into the game. to fans, painted in yellow, ran around the field. in the US, they would have been paraded off, but here they were cheered on by their fans. There was a contingent of Kenyan fans. They had so much enthusiasm. Even though they lost, they stormed the field and started dancing when the game ended.

On Sunday morning, Will and I went to the EAC house because the children were performing for US visitors. Once again the infectious dancing filled me with joy. Even more, I loved getting to speak with students afterword. When I speak with them, I realize why I love EAC so much. They are confident, ask questions, and talk about their interest in a way that few people that age do. Yesterday, Will said to me, "It's great how EAC is deep instead of wide." This is so true. They invest in the lives of youth. The staff cares about building individuals to be the best that they can. I am honored that I have been able to volunteer with them for the last two years.

Sunday night, after an enlightening dinner with the man Will is working with, I went with Charles to watch the US women's soccer match. Despite the disappointing ending, we had a terrific time. In addition to having the game on a giant screen, the place we went to (humorously called Tickles and Giggles) had live entertainment. It was hysterical and caused me to giggle. People would get on stage and lip sync to songs while dancing. One guy, danced on stilts, which was really cool.

Yesterday, on my last full day in Kampala, I came to the office in the morning. Then, in the afternoon, Will joined me to go to Taibah Schools where I said goodbye to the students. This was sad for me because while my hope is to return soon, you just never know. I did leave this goodbye session with a new skill. Sharon and Maria - two of the students - taught me this stone throwing game.

Last night, we went to dinner at the Ethiopian Village. Alex, Nicholas, Charles, Jeremy, Jamie, Agie, Betty and two of our friends from the house we are living in Ewan (who went to University of Glasgow where I will be studying in the fall!) and "German" Michael joined us. This dinner made me realize one of my favorite parts about Kampala - the variety of people you meet. I have friends all over the place. When I am abroad this semester, I have someone to call in Ireland, London, Liverpool, and Vienna. I am so grateful for these friendships.

I want to end my last post with some humor. Throughout this blog, I have written about my boda boda driver. On Saturday morning, I woke up to the funniest text messages I have ever received. Let me give you some background . On Thursday, when he was taking me to the office, I had him stop at my favorite rolex (chapati - tortilla like thing- with an omelet inside) stand. When I told him, I thought they were the best in Kampala, he said, "Michael, there is a Ugandan saying - "YOu think your mom's food is the best because you haven't been around to other places." Then, he made me promise that i would go with him to his favorite rolex stand in Kampala the next morning; however, things changed and I had a ride with JEremy in the morning. I called to tell him, but I don't think he heard me. His text said,

Micheal mourning you fine but am upsetted with you which friend are you, who promises what you can't fulfill about ROLEX
I am glad to report that we have since made up. This morning, I had the the rolex that he wanted me to try so badly. It wasn't as good as the Jesus is Alpha and Omega Chapati stand near my house, but it was still delicious. I am going to miss my boda guy. He is a ball of energy.

Thanks to everyone who read the blog. Sorry for this long rambling final post. This has been an amazing 8 weeks. I have loved getting to know Will better, witnessing the amazing work of EAC, seeing beautiful landscapes (including the blue waters of Zanzibar), and forming new friendships. I leave filled with hope.

It is going to be tough to leave, but I have a feeling I will be back in Kampala pretty soon . . .

- Feldman

Friday, July 15, 2011

On the Outskirts of Town

The first part of this week was pretty slow. I spent most my time typing up reports for Dr. Musaazi summing up my thoughts on the work I've done with Nicholas. Things picked up yesterday when Nicholas and I headed out to a site about 30 minutes outside the city. A Ugandan woman had bought two incinerators as a business venture, and she receives payment by the kilogram for disposing of medical waste. The incinerators both run Monday and Friday for 6 hours. With a consumption of 10 kg/hr each, the site disposes of about 240 kg per week. The going rate for medical waste disposal is between 2k and 3k Ugandan shillings, so we're talking about around $240 each week. Not bad for a fledgling business. The purpose of our visit was to present the incinerators to a representative of the Regional Drug Administration, so the site could gain approval for burning drugs that had expired or been thrown out because of quality. The woman was hoping to expand her business and buy a few more incinerators if she got approval. We basically just explained how the incinerators work, and I talked about the emissions. I think the meeting went well as far as I could tell. The guy from the RDA really didn't know what we were talking about. It seemed to be more of a formality. Nicholas and I talked about how frustrating it is to have to get approval from all these organizations when they are so ignorant. They don't even know what their standards are half the time. They know nothing about how the equipment functions (or should function) and pay more attention to how fancy the site looks. We had a laugh together when Nicholas pointed at the RDA official's brand new Toyota 4x4 that had a big USAID sticker. Nicholas wanted to make sure I knew that my taxes were providing this guy with a nice new ride.
Next we went to a site in Ntenjeru, a village about 30km outside of Kampala. This one of the several sites of the Makerere University Walter Reed Project that is researching the effects of circumcision on HIV/AIDS prevention. The site had just bought and incinerator on PEPFAR funds (with my tax Nicholas again said), and we were there for another installation and training session. It went a lot more quickly than the one in Kabale, and we had less of a crowd. I didn't make it back home to Makindye until 10:30 or so. It was a long day but really productive. Today I'm back in the office typing more reports. Michael and I are hoping to see the HP premier tonight. Good times.

- Stokes

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sorry for the lack of updates. This week has really been about wrapping up my project. It is crazy to think that I will be returning to Dallas on Tuesday night.

This week, I have been working on creating a second draft of my service curriculum. My main goal is to make my work more specific so that once I am gone it will be easier for EAC to implement my ideas.

I really do not have much to share that is as exciting as pictures from Zanzibar or Will's rafting trip so I thought I would just share some snippets from my day yesterday (want to make sure that there is an update waiting for my mom when she wakes up). For lunch, I went to Rose's home where her mom prepared my favorite dishes from when I went there for lunch last year. While the food was great, the company was even better. Rose's mother has an amazing spirit. She made me feel so welcome and at home. She shares the same love of life that Rose has. I am so happy that i was able to return to her home before I left.

I took a boda boda from the office to home yesterday. My usual boda driver came and picked me up. On the way, we saw a woman who had drove her car into the side of the rode. He immediately turned around so that we could help. He became very upset because a few other men were there and wanted payment for assisting the lady lift her car. You may remember from an earlier post that Agie had given a speech at a graduation event about how Ugandans expect something for performing random acts of kindness. It was very interesting to see this actually happen. i am proud that my boda driver realized the silliness of wanting money for simply helping someone out of a bind.

I will try to do at least one more update before departing Kampala on Tuesday.

- Feldman

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rafting the Nile

This past Saturday I got the chance to head up to Jinja with a group of people Michael and I live with to go rafting on the Nile. Michael had done it last year and had said good things, so I had pretty high expectations going into it. The trip lived up to every one of them; it was amazing. I can't really explain in words the size or power of these rapids on the Nile River, but hopefully the pictures posted later on will give you some idea of what it was like. We had an awesome guide named Paulo, who I'm pretty sure got a whole lot of entertainment out of flipping the raft and watching us swim through the class 5+ rapids. He was quite the jokester, and whenever he wasn't fighting through the rapids he had a constant stream of corny jokes coming. For instance right after we had all clambered back in the raft after taking a swim through one of the last rapid, we hear Paulo, "What did zero say to eight?" No answer. "Nice belt!" His delivery was pretty priceless. Anyways, needless to say, I think we all had a great time on the river. If you're ever in Uganda., rafting in Jinja is an absolute must.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


These two pictures are just to show how ridiculous the tide was. They are both pretty much the same picture, the first at high tide, the second at low tide.

Spice Tour

This guy was pretty amazing. He was showing us how to climb the coconut tree.

Red bananas

Star Fruit

Sunset in Stone Town

Pretty Amazing.


I just wanted to try to put up some pictures of our trip through Zanzibar last week. These pictures don't come close to doing justice to the beauty of this place, but maybe it will give you a little peak at some of the things we saw and experienced...

This is a picture from the ferry as we arrive in Stone town. Some of the bluest water I've ever seen in my life.

Each night local fishermen set up tables like this in the park. All kinds of sea food like lobster, fish, crab, even octopus could be found.

This is the House of Wonders. It got this name because it was the first house in Zanzibar to have running water and electricity.

After Stone Town, Michael and I drove through the Jozani Forest where we got to see the Red Colobus Monkeys. The monkeys would let you get right up close, and there was a whole family of them hopping around the bushes all around us. It was pretty wild.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

QUick Update

On Friday, Will and I arrived in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania via Uganda Air. In Kampala, people often joke about the inefficiency of the many systems. I have to say that Ugandans do a much better job when it comes to customs. It was a bit scary clearing customs in Dar es Salaam. An officer took our passports, visa money, and put it in a stack with about 10 others. We then waited for our names to be called. It seemed as if everybody was being called but us. After what seemed to be an hour (it was probably closer to 30-45 minutes but because they had taken our passports away, it created angst, at least for me.). Finally, we were released from the holding area, picked up our luggage, and took a taxi to a hotel - the Safari Inn. It cost us $30 for both of us to stay the night, which was a great deal. 

After setting down our stuff, we walked to the ferry dock to buy tickets to go to Zanzibar the next day. Then we had a taxi take us to the largest market in Tanzania and then to see the coastline. As we drove to the coast, I noticed that all the ambassadors to different countries live on compounds near the coast. One of these days, I am going to have to get myself an ambassadorship!  

On Saturday, we woke up early to take a ferry to Zanzibar. It was a 1 1/2 hour ride. We found beanbags to sit on at the back of the boat. The ride was delightful. pictures cannot capture the beauty of the blue water. The entrance into Zanzibar is dramatic. Unlike Dar es Salaam, the buildings in Stone Town - the island's capitol - are reflective of the original architecture, which is influenced my the many regimes that have had a stake in the countries history - Arab, Indian, and Portuguese. The above picture, not taken by me, should give you an idea. We will upload our own pictures when we arrive in Kampala. 

We took a tour of the city on Saturday then ate at a park on the coast, which comes alive with street vendors at night. We ate seafood, and I had a Zanzibar Pizza (a chapatti made into a pie like thing with an omelette inside - sort of like a rolex in Kampala but not) On Sunday, we went on a spice tour. This involved gong to a community that grows all sorts of spices as a way to generate money for the village. It was amazing to hear about how each of the different spices were used for food and then also medicines. We recieved all sorts of clothing made from leaves as well. For instance, they made us sunglasses from Pineapple leaves and a tie from long leaves. 

On Sunday night, our tour guide invited us to dine at his mothers home as a way to show us typical Swahili living. His mother made us beans, prawns in coconut sauce, chapatti and a local type of bread. It was delicious. We ate on the floor and without utensils. My whole life I have been told by my grandparents and parents that I eat too much with my hands so I thought that I would be really good at eating without a fork; however, it proved more difficult than I expected. 

Yesterday, we checked out of our hotel in Stone Town. We went to the Jozani Forrest and to swim with dolphins - both very exciting and fun. Then, we checked into a hotel in Jambiani, which is on the east coast. The beach is majestic. Today, I am working on writing my service learning curriculum. I cannot think of a better way to do this than  sitting outside looking out at the clear blue sea. 

- Feldman 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

On Saturday night, Will, Nicholas (from EAC not T4T), and I went to The National Theater to see the Tabu Flo Dance troupe perform a show called The Myth of the Night Dancers. Night dancers are one of the oldest myths in Uganda. They are men and women who are normal during the day and then at night wake up possessed. They find dead bodies to eat and do all sorts of other crazy things. The great part about the show was that it was all told using modern and traditional dance. The cast was amazing at break dancing. It was extremely entertaining and at times hilarious. I am so happy that Agie suggested we go.


On Sunday, Will and I went to the EAC house to see the students perform. We are lucky that Jeremy's family is in town to warrant the organizing of such an event. As always, EAC's students delivered with great energy and passion. During one particular number, I could just tell that they were having a great time. It is always great to sense this from performers.


On the subject of the Spirit of Uganda, this week EAC released tour dates http://empowerafricanchildren.org/spirit_2012_tour.asp. The show will be coming to Vanderbilt on February 25! I cannot wait for everybody to see the amazing hard work and talent of EAC's performers!


- Feldman

Monday, June 27, 2011


Today Nicholas and I went with Emmanuel to check out the incinerator at Mulago Hospital, the largest referral hospital in Uganda. Emmanuel is a grad. student at Makerere University who also works here at T4T, and he's being doing research on the Mulago incinerator for a while. We discovered that Mulago is having some serious incineration troubles. They recently spent billions of Ugandan Shillings on the purchase of two new incinerators. They really didn't think the decision through because the new incinerators are fuel assisted and each of them consumes around 80 liters of fuel per day. The hospital soon found that it couldn't afford to keep operating the new incinerators, so now they have reverted back to using the old one. The old one still uses fuel on it's start up, but the burners turn off as soon as the incinerator reaches required temperatures. They say that the incinerator achieves secondary combustion, as it has a secondary combustion chamber, but the black smoke that pours out of the chimney is evidence that secondary combustion is not really happening. While we were checking things out, we were suddenly told to leave by the site manager. I was pretty confused, so Nicholas and Emmanuel informed me that because of the huge mistake the hospital has made, wasting so much money on a poorly thought out decision, they work hard to keep their blunders under wraps. They got pretty defensive when they saw us walking around taking pictures of their facilities. It was a pretty interesting situation. Nicholas talked about how he spent a lot of time advising Mulago on proper incineration practices, but they never listened to him, and they refuse to admit their mistake. It was a pretty interesting situation. Very telling as to how things work around here.

Here you can see the smoke coming out of the chimney. Apparently this is less than normal. There is also smoke coming out of the base of the chimney that's hard to see. The point is that this is incinerator has it's fare share of problems. In the top left corner of the picture you can see a bit of the new incinerator's chimney. It is huge and completely unused.

These are pictures of the incinerator's combustion chambers. You can't really tell from the pictures, but the room that houses this machine is incredibly smokey and particles of ash are floating around everywhere. It was pretty shocking to see all this at what is supposed to be one of the best hospitals in Uganda.


Sports Day

I woke up early Saturday morning so that I could attend Sports Day at Taibah Junior School (where EAC primary school students attend) . On Sports Day, students at Taibah are divided into four teams - blue, red, yellow, and green - to compete in a series of events. The 1st place team receives a bull and the 2nd place team receives 2 goats, which are roasted for members to enjoy. 3rd and 4th place receive "nothing" - a line which received laughter from the parent crowd when said by the announcer.

It is hard to describe the excitement and fun of Sports Day. The students marched onto the field, sporting their colors, and cheering. After singing the Ugandan National Anthem and Taibah School song, the students marched to the opposite side of the field  as the band  played "When the Saints go Marching In." Then, the festivities began.  There were great games such as the Dictionary Race (a teacher whispered a word to the students, then the students rant to a dictionary, had to find it, show it to a judge then run to the finish line) and Dressing races (girls had to dress in suits and ties and boys in skirts/blouses then run to the finish line). I loved cheering for EAC's students. It was exciting that the blue team won because it contained more members from EAC then any other. One of the students, Daniel, dominated the track races. He was incredibly fast. 

Attending Sports Day was a terrific start to what turned out to be a great weekend. Stay tuned for more. 

- Feldman

Kabale Day 2

We had only planned on being in Kabale that Thursday, and we were hoping to take an over night bus back to Kampala Thursday night, but we ended up setting up a meeting with the District Health Officer the next day. We book a room at the Manhattan Hotel, and the next day we went with the DHO, Dr. S (I can't spell his last name) to look at an old incinerator, and we checked out a hospitals waste disposal practices. It was also really cool to drive around Kabale because it is a really beautiful area. It's very green with sharp hills all over the place. The temperature is a lot cooler than in Kampala, even chilly higher up in the hills. The outing proved to be very productive, and we got a lot of advice and positive feedback from Dr. S. That night at 8:30 pm we caught the bus back to Kampala. This time the ride was a little more pleasant although I still couldn't sleep. The bus blares its horn every minute or so which, combined with bouncing over potholes at terrifying speeds and weaving in and out of people/bodas/cattle on the roads, killed all sleep efforts. Thankfully we arrived in Kampala at about 4 am safe and sound.

This is at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital where we found a couple of piles of waste burning like this. We were disappointed to see open burning at one of the biggest referral hospitals in the area. This was pretty much the only disposal method they had going on.

This is an incinerator that was sold by T4T some five years ago. It's located at a small rural clinic up in the mountains a little ways outside the city. It is one of the earliest incinerators built by T4T, and you can see that they have come a long way since. This incinerator doesn't support secondary combustion and basically consists of four separate primary chambers. Dr. S (pictured on the right) wanted us to see if we thought it could be repaired, but we found it with all the inside chambers rusted out, and the chimney has fallen over. There isn't much hope for this incinerator.

These pictures can give you a little feel for the landscape in Kabale. It really is a beautiful area. In the bottom picture you can see one of the Crater Lakes. There are two of them, and they are two of the only lakes you can swim in in Uganda. They are also some of the deepest lakes in Uganda. I was told at the deepest point, one of the lakes is around 15oo m deep. Pretty incredible.

- Stokes

Kabale Day 1

At the end of last week, Nicholas and I made a journey down to Kabale, not to be confused with Kibale (western Uganda), in southwest Uganda near the border of Rwanda. We were headed down there to install a new Mak IV incinerator at a local composting site. After a cold, cramped, bumpy, sleepless bus ride tht lasted 7 hours, we arrived in Kabale at about 7 am Thursday morning. After breakfast Nicholas and I went with the movers to deliver the incinerator to Kirengyere Composting Site in the Kabale district. This site is sponsored, along with several other sites around Uganda, by the World Bank. A proposal for acquiring the T4T incinerator to be used for disposing of medical waste generated by the many provate clinics and hospitals in the district had been approved and funding was coming from NEMA (National Environment Management Association) in conjuction with the World Bank and from the Kabale Municipal Council. These people heard about T4T and its incinerator at an annual conference put on by Uganda's Ministry of Health on waste management.
We arrived at the composting site to piles and piles of municipal waste, somewhat sorted into paper, plastic, compostable, etc. I was surprised to hear Nicholas say that the incinerator could take care of all this waste in no more than a month, even though the incinerator was acquired primarily for the district's medical waste. Once we arrived on site, the next task was to get the incinerator off the truck and onto the concrete landing a ways away on the side of the hill. Typically this is accomplished by a crane, but because of overcharging by Kampala's local crane provider and the absence of one in Kabale, we had to resort to other means. It so happened that 14 strapping men mustered to the cause and surprisingly were able to move the incinerator to its cement throneon the hillside. Nicholas made an interesting comment that the people of Kabale's local tribe, even the women, had thereputation for being strong unlike the Bugandans (main tribe in Kampala). Once the incinerator was in place, we began filling it with sand for insulation, and soon the demonstration/training was underway. What we though was going to be a simple training session to educate the site's employees on how to operate the incinerator soon turned into demonstration for over 20 hospita administrators, doctors, and government officials who came to check out this new incinerator. The spectators seemed pretty skeptical at first as the incinerator, on it's maiden voyage and cold from its journey through the mountains, took over an hour to heat up. But once it was up to temperature, and the secondary combustion flame was humming, all were impressed with the lack of smoke in the air as load after load of medical waste was shoveled into the machine.
The demonstration was a huge success. Questions were being asked from all over the group, several people were takin notes, and at the end there were several requests for invoices. A woman who was some kind of local hospital administrator, thanked us profusely for the demonstration and for providing the community with such a great resource. I couldn't believe how well it all went.
As I was leaving, Peter, the site manager, pulled me aside in front of a group of workers from the site. They wanted to hear me talk, even though they spoke very little English, and they wanted me to take a picture of the them to remember them by Peter even decided to jump in the picture. It was a funny little encounter that topped off a great afternoon.

Here you can get a little feel for how much waste is at this place. All under that roofing is pile after pile of waste. It's going to be no small feat to get all that under control.

Almost made it to the cement landing. You can see the truck in the background where it came from. This process took almost 2 hours.

Here you can see the landing built for the incinerator. It has an ash pit dug underneath it, and the cement hut is for storing the medical waste so no one gets to it that isn't supposed to.

Group picture of the site employees.

- Stokes

Friday, June 24, 2011

This week has been productive. I have spent each day in the office outlining and drafting my curriculum. I hope to have a full draft complete by next Wednesday. Today, instead of indulging you in an entry about my service, I thought I would share a short list of some my favorite parts about being in Kampala.
  • I love that I never know when I am going to encounter livestock. The other day I was walking up the hill to get home, around 20 beautiful cows delayed my journey by temporarily blocking the road.
  • I love both the freshness and the prices of fruits and vegetables. Last week, I bought about 10-15 tomatoes, 6 avocado, 6 eggplants, 14 mangoes, 2 pineapples, 2 clusters of bananas, 3 green peppers, and 5 onions for 20,000 Ugandan schillings, which is less than $10.
  • I love that you never know what you are going to see on the back of a boda boda (motorcycle taxis). I have seen everything from a goat, dozens of chickens, and giant fish hanging from the back of Bodas. The one thing that I do not like to see on bodas are children. This is very common to see. Sometimes, a child will be sitting in front of the driver so it looks like he is navigating. For a moment, this always seems adorable but then I start thinking about safety.
  • Finally, I love how laid back people are in Kampala. It is such a change of pace from the US
Hope that gives you some insight into why I enjoy Kampala.

- Feldman

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cook Stove Water Heater

Today Nicholas and I took a break from incinerators, and he took me around Kampala to show me one of his other projects. He has developed a cook stove that also boils water to make it safe for drinking and warm for bathing. In Kampala/developing Africa, most cooking is done on either wood burning or charcoal stoves. Electricity is very expensive, and there is not very much to go around. Since the water is not safe to drink from the tap, a lot of people resort to electric water heaters to clean their water for consumption and bathing. This is a huge drain on electricity and is not only expensive but also takes valuable electricity from other parts of the city where it might be needed for more important applications. To combat this issue, and to utilize power from cooking that would typically just go to waste, this water heating system was developed. The cook stoves traditionally consist of a clay "bowl" filled with charcoal with a grate on top. Instead of this clay bowl, Nicholas created a stove that had hollow walls that water could enter to be heated. The system is basically a closed loop driven by the steam generated in the cook stove. Cool water from the bottom of the water tank enters the cook stove where it is heated. Because of the rise in temperature in the cook stove, the increased pressure drives the heated water out of the stove and into the top of the water tank that used to be only cool water. Because of the temperature difference, the cool water and the hot water don't really mix because of the temperature difference, but soon because of non return valves that stop back flow, the whole tank of cool water is replaced with clean, hot water. Pretty cool stuff. This system greatly reduces electricity use, and because of the insulation in the tank, the water can be kept hot for several days. The different stoves varied in size, and one of the stoves Nicholas installed, is designed so that it delivers hot water all over the house.

Here is a picture of the whole system. This is a pretty small version. On the left you can see the cook stove. The two tanks are on the right. Water is loaded from the tap into the tank on the top (most versions do not require you to pour in the water by hand). This tank feeds cool water into the bottom of the tank on the bottom. Because of gravity, new cool water from this tank can only enter the bottom tank when water is let out of the bottom tank from the tap (seen right next to Nicholas's hand). You can see pipes that come out from the bottom of the tank, into the stove, then back to the top of the tank. This is the "closed loop" I was talking about. For this system, one batch of charcoal in the stove can heat up an entire tank of water (about 35 L). Pretty impressive.

Here is another version that uses two different stoves to heat the water. In this version, the feeder tank (blue tank in the above picture) is located on top of the house. Again due to gravity, this allows the hot water to be delivered all over the house.

Here is a close up of the stove. That bowl around the charcoal is hollow. You can see where the pipe carrying cool water enters on the left of the stove, and then the boiled water leaves the stove on the right and returns to the top of the tank.

At the end of the day Nicholas and I stopped by the metal shop to check on an incinerator that has been in the construction process since I've been here, but today it's finally finished. Either tomorrow or Thursday, Nicholas and I are going to head over to Kibale which is on the western side of Uganda some 400 km away. We are going to spend a couple of days there installing the incinerator and training the workers on operation procedures. Hopefully we can convince the hospital administrators on the importance of monitoring it's operation and the sorting of their waste. Hopefully it'll be a successful trip. I'm looking forward to seeing a new part of Uganda.

- Stokes

Murchison Falls

Will did such a terrific job of illustrating our weekend with his wonderful pictures that I do not have much to say. It was a great break from Kampala. After about 5 hours on the road, we arrived at Murchison Falls. We took a short hike up so that we could see the falls. it was magnificent. The sound of the strong water was extremely peaceful and reminded me that nature is wondrous. Will almost gave me a heart attack when he climbed to the top of post of a bridge that fell down. Luckily, he made it down.

That night, they had one of the forest guides come tell stories by the campfire at the place where we were staying. He was an older man named George. His ridiculous stories involved how he survived attacks from various animals. I am not sure how true any of them were; however, he scored on entertainment value. He survived a lion attack because "lions speak English." In addition, he did a rousing imitation of an Indian family facing an elephant.

On Saturday, we woke up early for a game drive. My favorite animals that we saw were the giraffes. I never realized how cool it is to watch them run. It looks like slow motion. One of the best parts about the game drive was that Will and I ended up climbing to the top of the van. It was amazing to drive through the park in the open air. After the game drive, we returned to the campsite for lunch and a break. During this time, I finished Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows! Now that I have finished the series, I feel more in touch with my generation. it was amazing. I can't wait for the final movie. In the afternoon, we took a boat ride to the falls. It was terrific to see elephants and hippos. The ride was extremely relaxing. That night, there was a thunder/lightning storm. While the animals were great, i think this may have been my favorite part of the day. It was incredible to see the storm in the open skies around the campsite. It was a natural light show.

On Sunday, we went to the Rhino sanctuary. Rhinos are fascinating animals. We were lucky (at least that is what the guide said) that the rhinos stood up for us at that time in the day. I had never seen cactus like the cactus in this park before. They were like tall cactus trees. I have some pictures that i will try to post. Seeing the rhino and the cactus made for an amazing end to a very fun weekend.

- Feldman

Monday, June 20, 2011

Last but not least...

The hippos, warthogs, and baboons shared our camp with us. Pretty wild to have these things around your tents at night. Interesting fact.. hippos cause more deaths than any of the other animals. They are aggressive at night because they come out of the water and feel extra vulnerable and protective. They have been know to grab fisherman on the river every now and then. Even though they are so huge, they can run like 25 mph. Point is.. beware of the hippo. We also heard a lot of stories about baboons stealing visitors' belongings. Common strategy apparently is that one baboon will pose for a picture, and while you're taking it, another baboon will sneak up and steal your bag or any food you might have. Pretty sneaky. Now you know what to look out for on your next safari.


Had to give a shout out to the big bald eagle... These were all over the place. Pretty cool. The little bird is the speckled kingfisher.


Giraffe and Buffalo