Author Archives: Mark Jordahl

Signs of Uganda #5

Lover’s Hotel Continue reading

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Murchison Falls Continues to be Museveni's Punching Bag (or Punchline)

Can this really be happening? Murchison Falls National Park seems to be Museveni’s punching bag. First, it was opened up for unlimited oil drilling, and now he is demanding that the Madhvani Group, the owners of Paraa and Chobe Lodges, be allowed to build a golf course within the park. Clearly he does not take the concept of “National Park” seriously.

I think building a Wal-Mart or a 24-hour Nakumatt at the Top of the Falls would be a reasonable next step. Continue reading

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Was it Really Churchill who Called Uganda "The Pearl of Africa?"

I have always bought into the idea that Winston Churchill should be credited with dubbing Uganda the “Pearl of Africa.” That’s what everybody says, and knowing that he came here and was enamored with the country, I never had a reason to doubt it.

Then this morning I read an article on Musere’s Live Journal called “Uganda the “Pearl of Africa,” Henry Morton Stanley, and Winston Spencer-Churchill.”

This article makes a pretty convincing argument that it was actually Henry Morton Stanley, that incredibly brutal explorer and scourge of Congo, who first called Uganda the “Pearl.”

I must admit that if this is true, I am a little disappointed. However, disappointing or not, the truth must be told.

Has anyone else out there come across references that connect this phrase to Stanley rather than Churchill? Continue reading

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Uganda’s Mountain Parks Might Be the Last Refuge in a Changed Climate

The Rwenzori Mountains and Mount Elgon, the bookends of Uganda, may provide a last bastion for biodiversity in Uganda in a changing climate. While these mountainous national parks get fewer visitors and fewer conservation dollars than the savanna parks with their charismatic wildlife, they might turn out to be the most important ones to protect. Continue reading

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Northern Uganda on PBS News Hour

Here is a video created by two filmmaker friends of mine, Vicky Collins and Paul Hillman, about the World Vision center in Gulu that is rehabilitating ex-child-soldiers. It recently aired on the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer. They interviewed a few of the young people who escaped from the LRA during battles in the Democratic Republic of Congo earlier this year, and you get to hear directly from them about some of the challenges of trying to re-enter their old lives after years living as soldiers in the bush.

I think you will agree that the highlight of the piece is my cameo appearance driving my white SUV into the World Vision compound. Continue reading

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Signs of Uganda #4

Signs of Uganda #4 Continue reading

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Happy Eid al-Adha

WE get the day off here in Kampala. How about you?

Find out more about Eid al-Adha, the ending of the period of the Hajj, and one of the most important days for Muslims around the world by clicking here. Continue reading

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Female Genital Mutilation Continues in Eastern Uganda

Female Genital Mutilation is still Widespread

While the practice is limited in Uganda, according to the Stop FGM Now campaign, “over three million girls a year are still being victims of genital mutilation today, not only in Africa and Asia, but also in Europe, the USA and Australia.”

The World Health Organization estimates that between 100 and 140 million women worldwide are currently living with the results of female genital mutilation. Continue reading

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Yes, Northern Uganda IS Safe AND Amazing

Northern Uganda is no longer a place of war – it is a place of potential. Sure, it still has its challenges, but one of the things it needs most is to be more integrated with the rest of Uganda. What that will take is more people traveling there and seeing it as a living, vibrant part of the country rather than a mythical land of warfare and abductions. Continue reading

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Uganda Should Start from Scratch says Beti Kamya

There is one woman running in the 2011 presidential elections in Uganda. Her name is Beti Olive Namisango Kamya, and she is the flag-bearer for the relatively new Uganda Federal Alliance (UFA) party. A recent article in the New Vision caught my eye with its subheading “Vows to Return What Whites Took Away.” As I read on, I realized that it probably should have said “vows to give away what white’s stuck us with.” Continue reading

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