This is a sequel of sorts toDan and Francis's Bogus Journey, which you may want to read first.I
finally got out of bed at about 5:30 AM. I'd managed a whole 3.5 hours
of sleep by then. Francis, Leonie and I were down at the front desk by
around 6, but Leonie needed caffeine, and checking out isn't exactly a
very efficient process, so it was after 6:30 when we finally hit the
road out of Munyonyo.
was, of course, awful until we were about 10 km out Jinja Road from
Kampala. Then things went better. We stopped at the Nile crossing near
Jinja, and I took a few photos of the dam, then went back to the car,
changed lenses, headed back toward the dam and was told by an
exceptionally social "redtop" soldier (wearing a red beret) that photos
of the dam were forbidden, so I put my camera away.
stopped for fuel (seventy-something-thousand Ugandan shillings), then
decided to check out Bujagali Falls, which are just downstream from
Jinja. It was a nice …
I'm in Kampala at the moment. Yesterday, there were demonstrations and
rioting. Tear gas, water cannons, and so on. Next week, I'll be in
Nairobi, and I'm expecting more demonstrations and rioting there. And
then it's off to Montreal for 2 more weeks of... demonstrations and
But none of it's my fault, really.
Uganda arrested a popular opposition political leader. Thus, demonstrations and riots.
Kenya has a constitutional referendum coming up. Thus, demonstrations and riots.
Montreal is hosting a huge climate change/Kyoto conference. Thus... you guessed it.
I hope the family trip to visit relatives over the holidays doesn't involve any demonstrations or riots. :)
up early. Showered, dressed, grabbed my gear, and headed over toward
the buffet by the conference room for breakfast. Breezed through the
first gate and was almost immediately stopped by a soldier (camouflage,
sub-machine gun, the works) who was letting people know that they had to
leave their laptops, mobile phones and cameras in their rooms.Mmhmm, I see that President Museveni's long-awaited visit to the conference is happening today! I
explained to the soldier that I am supposed to have my laptop and
camera, and he let me pass. I got up to the security checkpoint with the
metal detectors, and they weren't so easy. After a couple failed
attempts, I saw one of the Secretariat folks, and asked him what was
going on. He was trying to get hold of people to find out how to get the
reporting team's equipment cleared, but wasn't having much luck. I
waited around for quite a while in the hot morning sun, and then the
Secretariat guy finally got hold of someon…
just noticed a job posting for a telescope operator. I'm already a
telescope operator, but at a rather modest observatory, with rather
modest hours and pay. I also do non-operations support work, through a
temp agency, at a distinctly immodest observatory (the "not only do we
have the largest optical/infrared telescope on Earth... we have two of
them" place) where the telescope operators aresalaried. (Insert oohs and ahhs here.) And that, of course, would be the place that posted the job.I'm
about a half-year shy of the amount of operations experience they're
looking for. On the flip side, my observatory experience covers more
than just operations, I have a bunch of other useful experience,andI work there already, know everyone and know all about the place.
yes. I'm going to apply. I really hope I get the job, because salaries
are nice. (Especially when significantly more pay is involved, and when
there's the distinct possibility thatless…
flight from Heathrow to Nairobi was on time - actually, a little bit
early. Everything went smoothly at passport control and customs, and I
had a nice long relaxing wait for my checked bag, which contained all my
clothing. I went out the door to where people were holding up signs for
arriving passengers, looked from one side to the other, didn't see my
name, then looked back to the first side and there was my name, being
held aloft by Francis!
He introduced his friend John, and we made it to the car in no time at
all - Nairobi's airport is a bit larger than Hilo's, but not too much
so. We were on our way out to the airport exit when a policeman waved us
over... and the next thing I knew, both the car and Francis were
detained for reasons that I didn't understand. John and a couple other
friends of his stayed with me for a bit, then John dropped me off at an
internet cafe where a very nice young lady let me check my mail and such
without keeping count …