Category Archives: travel

just a few random images of uganda…

these piggies were so cute…

keeps the stink out…

three little birds…

sometimes it was the only way to see myself…

just a few images to illustrate my work with water for people.

when we arrived in uganda, we met up with our ugandan teammates and had an orientation for how our mapping survey would work. below is a picture of moses, me and julius- my two teammates for the two weeks- in front of julius’ crib (as he likes to call it).

we mapped in two different regions of uganda with the intent of creating a GIS map when it was all said and done that indicated the state of water, sanitation and hygiene for each community. in total, we mapped over 600 water sources.

when my teammates and i first arrived in a village we sought out the chairman of the village who would then guide us to all the water sources and assist with our questions. below is the chairman and the woman leader of ‘buyuki’.
a lot of hiking was involved to reach the water sources. often, a resident would lead us to the water source and answer survey questions while we took GPS readings and pictures of the water source.
i encountered three different kinds of water sources while in uganda. the best sources were boreholes with handpumps. it is often the job of women and children to fetch water.
i also encountered several pumps that no longer worked. here is the chairman of ‘namagulwe’ next to a pump that has not worked for years. the villages do not have the technical ability, nor the funds to repair the pumps. this community hikes down the hill past this pump to a hole in the ground where they fetch their water.
i saw more springs than pumps in uganda. these provide a decent source of water, but are always located at a low elevation, thus requiring quite the hike, and also most of them dry up during the dry season.
more often than anything else, i saw people fetching their water from these little ponds, essentially holes in the ground. they are rather stagnant and are open to contamination from animals and runoff.
these are the containers that are used to fetch water. the largest one weighs about 40 pounds when full.

think about each time you use water… then imagine hiking a half mile down a steep hill to then carry 40 pounds of water, barefoot, back up the steep hill another half a mile
our second region, kyjenjojo, was very hilly and did not have many roads that were passable by car. we had to use ‘boda bodas’ to get close to the water sources.
water for people provided us with water for our field work. at first i was carrying my empty water bottles around until i saw my teammates just throwing them onto the ground. i couldn’t understand the littering so i asked them why they would just throw it there. they explained that someone would reuse it. from then on, i always gave my bottles to the little kids. they loved collecting them and i know they will use them until they can be used no longer.
this image always gets me. these children are literally getting their water from this source. it doesn’t take a genius to realize it is unsafe water. they will have to spend time boiling the water to make it safe, and i was told that sometimes people do not even boil it.
water is essential for life. the ugandans i met understand this and they also understand that they do not have safe water. they are not ignorant to the fact that their water sources are unsafe, but they need water to survive…

paradise exists here on earth about 1,399 miles away from me. i can drive my car there and i don’t even need my passport. you are probably asking yourself… if i know where paradise is, and all i need is my car to get to it, why aren’t i living there already?

i asked myself that same question.

sometimes to get to paradise you have to go through miami.

but don’t count on seeing the golden girls’ house from this high up.

if the propeller stops, that is not a good thing.

if you need a place to stay in paradise, you’d be missing out if you didn’t stay at the angelina guest house. you’ll feel the warmth of the angelina’s charm and character, gracious staff and friendly cats the second you walk in the door.
ps in paradise there are warm cinnamon buns for breakfast every day and a hammock that will make you smile.

throughout my entire life, any time i heard roosters crowing all night long and ambling mindlessly around…it was because i was someplace that warmed my heart.
in paradise they celebrate the sunset every night with entertainment and art…
and sailboats….and sunset views…
the last thing you see when you leave paradise may very well be this…

believe it or not, there are actually people that live in paradise. and i’d like to thank each of them for their kindness and conversations.

this is my favorite london ‘city’ shot.

sometimes you are given signs. i thought toto’s ‘africa’ playing at the airport was enough of a sign, but then i saw the ‘uganda house’ in trafalgar square.

and then another sign? ‘wind the cab?’

sometimes a picture is more poetic than i care to articulate.

my life has been filled with moments where i look around and wonder how the heck i got there. i’ve found myself in some very strange places, with people unlike myself, but yet… maybe not so much unlike myself.

i had a very bad cold when i arrived in london and after photographing lovers in trafalgar square i was tempted to go back to the airport, but something told me to go to piccadilly circus. after minding the gap, i emerged right in the middle of piccadilly circus. it only took a moment for me to see the ‘free hugs’ being given out. i thought this was a nice gesture being that it was valentine’s day and all. i did not realize i was about to be a part of a hippy love fest for the next few hours.

soon there were many more people gathering around. people of all kinds. i soon realized who the leader of this love fest was when i saw her speaking to the police about ‘reclaiming love because love is brilliant’ while a wizard videotaped the interaction.

the crowd kept getting bigger. and also… somewhat weirder, but in a way that i found refreshing.

even young skateboard dudes were reclaiming love.

our purpose was soon explained by venus who told us that in many other places around the world, at exactly the same moment, people would be holding hands in a big circle and chanting ‘may all the beings, in all the worlds, be happy and at peace’.

for a moment i wondered if i’d just inadvertently joined a cult.

the message was simple and non-religious enough for me to decide that i was going to be a part of this circle of love reclamation because valentine’s day is my favorite holiday and i was lucky enough to stumble upon a group of people who were celebrating the idea of love. we formed a ginormous circle and all held hands and began chanting our message of love. londoners walked through the circle, smiling at the ridiculousness of what they were witnessing… and i smiled back at the ridiculousness of which i was a part.

i held hands with this kind gentleman.

after the circle turned back into a crowd, the dancing and singing began.

the pavement was festooned with messages of love…

and the setting sun cast a magical light…

i knew i’d been a part of something bigger than myself. i stumbled upon another strange place and i knew it was my exact destiny. i might never really know the full story of what i was a part of, but i do know that for a few hours i smiled and laughed and felt the love.

and yes… i did receive a free hug.

(you can’t make this s@#t up…