Every scientist needs to relax and my favourite way is by playing online games. Grand Theft Auto 5, Starcraft 2 and lots of others. I play not only video games but also gamble a little - poker or casino it depends on my mood. I usually play at All Slots Casino because they have the best slots games and I love slots. As for poker - well Pokerstars are the best but I also like 888Poker

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


We’re most of the way through our second full day on Lingira, as of this draft being written. The last few days have been leisurely and largely peaceful. The heat of the sun slows the pace of every action and thought, as well as mandates the afternoon nap that will follow my writing this. Elise snuck in a letter for each traveler, and told me how she’d wondered at times “what have I gotten myself into.” When you reach the shores after the 90 minute boat ride, everything that I have so far known in 2-D, now towers in front of me. I mean, of course, the mountain, the trees, but also the problems. The conversations I had all along about how to solve Lingira have become entirely inadequate. The mass of people that inhabit the island are good hearted, but the lack of social infrastructure looms over every proposal we’ve ever proposed. Most people not affiliated with the school have few agendas, other than don’t rock the boat (courtesy of Andy.) We had talked ourselves into pretty deep holes over the problems plaguing the island and been left with no productive outlet.

We’ve dropped the plan for the pump; it will be expensive enough to finish the fence. And by this, I mean three sides of the school. The side facing the mountain will be a difficult, but free pass for any livestock who dare it. I’ve focused all, or most, of my negative energy on the goats, sheep, chicken, ducks, turkey, and cattle that freely walk through the heart of the school yard, littering it with manure and stopping the growth of any trees. These kids’ parents work to pay for their schooling, which should not include the feed for the livestock of the neighborhood. In absolute ignorance of the absurd cost of this project, Sam and I, along with Tony, employee at the clinic in Lingira Camp, spent several hours clearing the brush where the fence will lie and digging the holes where the posts will be. It will be around $110 for 20m sections of chain link to fence the 175m that needs to be closed. [So step 1. Do that math. Step 2. Mail us a donation to help get the fence built.] Every secondary school kid at Lingira Living Hope does three years of agriculture classes. So far, not a single one has spent a moment with the soil while taking these classes. If the initiative to plant there has ever been taken, it was surely raised in very short order. In the US, we can afford to be ignorant of how to cultivate hearty, organic food. But, so many here don’t even know their need for more knowledge about growing. There is so, so, much that can be learned from a garden laboratory. Uniquely the garden space lies on the main path that follows the island, which means the visibility of its productivity would get the rest of the community asking, “what are they doing that I’m not?” There is plenty out there to make sure this answer would never be ammonia spray or voodoo. For now, I am asking, what it does to people who see cultivation attempts been erased in one swoop after 15 cattle roam across the half finished fence. If I saw this futility, my interest and hope would never hold. We will have the fence finished and the garden tilled. (*students helped to clear the main garden area after classes one day. With 60 or so kids it was done in 30 minutes.)

I guess we’ve gotten good news on many other fronts. The girls are practicing soccer with Madame Jane. Only they play netball as those tournaments approach. The grain mill is okay. The secondary school is now government accredited and will receive more funding. The islands are now part of a smaller province, shortening the chain for corruption to steal the vital shillings these people need. The primary school teachers are all very invested in the school, despite the challenging community and shoddy lodgings, to great effect.

In order to be formally introduced [7 times] to the community, we three attended Sunday Mass. Per local custom, we arrived late and stayed the remaining three hours of church. It was a very full blend of theater, town hall meeting, and preaching. After the vibrant performance of the secondary school kids, the best part was learning that we have a very blessing-worthy reputation here. The “edge team” was the recipient of many shoutouts and thanks. Good thing I was already tapping my hands on the wooden pews during the songs, because they seem to have rather high expectations, needing many a knock-on-wood’s. We’ve reall ymet far too many to remember by now, and I hope no one else plays the card that Justice did today by up and asking if I remembered his name. He was disappointed in me the minute that I started with an “Rrrr” for a guess. I won’t forget it again I guess…

We’ve yet to tour the whole island. We’ve seen the grain mill. It is in working order, but lacking an operator. We’ve heard that Fred and the Head Master are working on this. If nothing else, there is an eighth of an acre on the lakeshore, next to it that would serve as a cool place to camp out. EDGE Real Estate Development Group is still a flEDGEling enterprise, but very viable if you ask me. (*tour has been completed as of editing this.)

We are mostly in good health with a few bothers. The inevitable “over-bronzing” of the skin never ceases, Karla has awful bites that trouble her gait. Sam is fine now that he has one of Andy’s guitars. I lost a toenail on the football pitch. And we’ve got plenty of blisters to garnish our soft hands.

We will leave Saturday to deliver Karla to the mainland for her return. She undoubtedly deserves an early return, but she will be missed. She’s done a fair job of teaching us when it pays to be boorish and when to lay low. Most importantly, we’ve hit a decent balance of personalities and skills amongst the three of us. The EDGE team will lose much of its rapport with women here, by little fault of us EDGE boys. But, let us remember the fall of Gandalf in Moria; the party became leaderless and fractured, but each did redouble his personal efforts towards accomplishing the ultimate end of Sauron. Anyway, Sam and I are stuck with each other, willingly or not, until next spring, so we might as well find how to best combine now. We would also kill to be able to watch those movies right now. [On the subject of media,] photogenicity is abundant in Uganda. At least I know it’s not the photographer making these shots so beautiful…

I’ve written too much and it’s only half of the story. Thanks for sticking with me until now. And I wasn’t kidding about the donations. It’s like $1500 for the whole fence and I’m probably going to ask you for money for projects another time anyway.

Miss you all,


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