Monday, September 13, 2010

Non-work related things: Football, Entebbe, Sipi

Work stuff is still slowly picking up steam. Drafted some proposals, thinking about some other ones, reaching out to friends and mentors here and elsewhere for thoughts/critiques on said proposals (thanks everyone!). I'm hoping something makes sense to other scientists and that we're able to get some good work done this year.

But, I haven't only been doing work here. Last weekend I went to the Uganda vs. Angola football (soccer) match at Nelson Mandela Stadium. The Ugandan fans were out in force, and President Museveni even made an appearance. We won 3-0, and will go on to face Kenya in the next match for the African Cup of Nationals qualifiers.

Uganda vs. Angola

Fellow football enthusiasts at the match

Last Sunday, I went to Entebbe to check out the botanical gardens, zoo, and Lake Victoria.

Entebbe Botanical Garden

Entebbe Zoo

Then, this weekend, I took advantage of the Eid holiday to spend a few days near Sipi Falls in Eastern Uganda. It was good to get out of the city for a bit to clear my mind. When I went to Sipi in 2005, I hiked to the last of the three waterfalls; this time I went to all three, which was a much better experience. You can abseil alongside the third, 100 meter-high drop, but after one of my hiking companions discussed the finer points of not slamming into the wall while abseiling, I decided to try it next time.

The top waterfall at Sipi Falls

Third waterfall at Sipi Falls

On Saturday afternoon, a gin and tonic kept me company while I read the day's paper. I leafed through page after page of articles about the latest election intrigue and violence. On page 6, there was a small line reminding me that it was September 11, and that nine years ago, many things for many people changed for the worse. I looked out at Sipi Falls, the acres of farms surrounding it, and the rain clouds over me, and was struck by how much had changed here and elsewhere in the last nine years. And how much things had stayed the same. No conclusions, no epiphanies. Just a deep feeling of melancholy about what might have been. 

The clouds broke over the ridge and the blue sky reminded me that our best moments often come on the September 12ths of our lives.

Sipi Falls at sunset


  1. People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.

  2. “Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.”
    Dhow Cruise Dubai Marina
    Desert Safari Dubai
    Dubai Desert Safari