Archive for December, 2014

December 23, 2014

Unastahili Kuwabudiwa

Climbing the Water Tank


Unastahili kuwabudiwa

Unastahili ewe yesu

Unastahili kuwabudiwa

Unastahili e

You are worthy to be praised

Worthy O Jesus

You are worthy to be praised


December 22, 2014

Jessica Pizza

One evening our Kampala family went out for pizza at an Italian restaurant beside Village Mall in Bugoloobi. Walking to catch the matatu was fun because we passed a herd of steers, which is so typical Kampala! The entrance to the restaurant was a bit obscure (it looked like a bus stop on the street), but then it descended into a wonderful little oasis of gardens with seating and stage areas. There was a really awesome stage that was in the shape of a sailing ship. It was clad in small bricks and built around two palm trees that served as the masts. The kids are really into pirates and had a fun time playing on it! When we looked at the menu we discovered that there was a “Jessica” pizza, which made us think of our colleague who recently departed to the US. Of course Archip decided to order it and we had to take a photo! We were missing you Jessica!

Lauren and Gloria

Lauren and Gloria

Port Bell

Pirate Ship

Lauren, Archip, and the "Jessica" pizza

Lauren, Archip, and the “Jessica” pizza

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December 20, 2014

Around Kampala

Lauren and I spent a Sunday afternoon hanging out with Othy, Archip, Sagesse, and Kevin. We lazed around and watched movies, then went to town and grabbed dinner and watched a basketball game. Those are the best kind of Sunday afternoons!With the guys

Ice creamNapkin hat

Hanging out

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December 13, 2014

Abandoned House

Behind the wallDuring my time in Kampala I have been living with the other UCBC international staff in a house that we found on AirB&B. It is owned by a really friendly German man named Klaus who lives in one part of the house and rents out the rest at a very affordable rate. It has been a great place to live because it was able to accommodate Othy and Archip when they joined us for the last two weeks. We are in the neighbourhood of Port Bell which is a quiet peninsula on Lake Victoria. Port Bell is an interesting area because there are many large houses that were built in the colonial period but since then have been abandoned. There is one particular house that is a few doors down from us that I find particularly beautiful. The house is white and has a very modern style. Walking by it often looks deserted and the gate is always open but at times you can hear kids playing inside and see laundry hanging out to dry. My guess is that squatters have settled into the house. Finally the other day when Othy, Archip and I needed a break from working on our computers, we decided to go for a walk and try to get in and take photographs of the place. I knew that if I didn’t try that I would regret it! When we went in the compound we saw a group of children sitting in the grass. We asked the eldest girl if she would be willing to show us around and she obliged. We didn’t know this from the outside, but the house is actually a group of apartments (or hotel/guesthouse) with a communal area on the main floor. Structurally the house is sound but there is a lot of water damage. The curved wing is still inhabited by families and the other side is empty. There is access to the roof that opens up to an amazing view of the lake!

Front View

The building has two wings: one with a single and the other with a double loaded corridor. The single corridor has nice brick lattice openings off of the hallway. The units in that wing fan out in a curve that opens up towards the lake view. On the other wing a series of bachelor units project out from the form. They are single rooms with with large glass sliding doors opening to covered balconies. I like that the units that face the street are raised to a level to see above the wall of the compound.

Cracked Paint

The center window that lights up the stairwell

Patio Front Patio opening up to a yard in the back

Public Hallway SpaceThe corridor between the units is very spacious and I can imagine it being used as a communal space. It is also lit by another open lattice and transparent corrugated roofing.


When on this expansive roof I imagined that I was on top of a building designed by Le Corbusier! It definitely has the right look! I’m so glad I got to see this building close up, in all it’s sad beauty. I wish I knew the story of this place! Who lived here? What memories are within these walls? Posing on the Roof

Can I just take this building and do something awesome with it?!?

December 10, 2014


I wanted to share this great post from my colleague Mary Henton who is an international staff at UCBC. She writes about how hope can be fulfilled in small and large ways and uses the example of an experience that two of our Congolese colleagues had when crossing the border on their way to join us for GIS training in Kampala. It’s a powerful story and I recommend the read!

December 9, 2014

Visiting Researchers

If we can’t go to them, then they’ll just have to come to us. This was our solution to best use the time that I have left before I head back to Canada in mid-December. I was supposed to be a visiting researcher to UCBC in Beni, but instead we brought Congolese visiting researchers to Uganda! Last week two of our colleagues Othy and Archip came and joined the international staff in Kampala for two weeks of GIS training. Both are alumni of UCBC; Othy is a professor with a degree in Computer Engineering and Archip is a researcher at the Integrated Research Institute (IRI) with a degree in Communications. It has been such a blessing to have them here! They are a piece of Beni and have an incredible joy, energy, and hope for Congo that is contagious!

Every day the work has been intense because we have been making up for lost time. The first three days were a review of OpenStreetMap, OSMAnd, JOSM Editor, Garmin Devices, ODK Collect, QGIS, and how to build custom surveys. Next we jumped into training on how to fly the quadrocopter drone that the IRI purchased to use for developing maps from aerial photography. We taught ourselves how to manually fly the copter but also to automate take off and landing and set a preprogrammed path for it to follow. We are now in week two and are diving more into QGIS to continue developing the base map, and working together to develop the UCBC, IRI, and BeniAtlas websites. There is great and exciting work happening here and I feel privileged to be a part of it! I am sad that I don’t get to be there to see these projects through, but am looking forward to keeping in touch and working with the team remotely. These two weeks of training have been a great conclusion to my time here.



Calibrating the drone

Calibrating the drone

Curious spectators

Curious spectators



Flying the Drone

Test Flight