Category Archives: Musings

Why Do Ugandans Hate Trees?

The buzz of chainsaws is ringing in my ears as I write this. I live in Kampala, next door to a large lot that was a school up until about a month ago, lush with big trees and flowering bushes. The trees are frequent hosts to numerous falcons, weavers, turacos, gonaleks and a number of other birds, in addition to countless butterflies and lizards. I have always envied the green shadiness of those school grounds when I compare it to the sparse compound in which I live.

But recently the mzungus who ran the school moved out, and within just a few weeks, the chainsaws have decimated most of what once lived on those beautiful grounds. Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Musings, Personal Observations, Society | Tagged , , , , , | 50 Comments

Jane Goodall visits Uganda

Few people have had a greater impact on how humanity sees itself than Dr. Jane Goodall.

This inspirational woman was in Kampala Friday evening to give a talk at a fundraiser for the Uganda branch of the Jane Goodall Institute. It was part of a tour of East Africa commemorating 50 years since she started her groundbreaking research observing the chimpanzees of Gombe Stream in Tanzania (then Tanganyika) in 1960.

Her story is a tribute to the power of perseverance and tenacity. As a child she fell in love with Africa through reading the Tarzan books (and lamenting that he “chose that other, wimpy Jane”). At the age of 8 she decided she wanted to study animals in Africa. However, the odds were against her. Continue reading

Posted in Events and Meetings, Musings, Wildlife Conservation | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

5 Things I Love About Kampala…but probably shouldn't

I have just returned to Kampala after a month in the States. A lot has happened here while I’ve been gone that I should have been writing about. The bombings, the African Union Summit, the deportation of thousands of Rwandan refugees…all important, timely, newsworthy things. However, the wonderful feeling of homecoming I experienced coming off the plane has put me in a philosophical mood, and I have decided to focus on the timeless things rather than the timely things.

In that spirit, here are the ­­­five things I love about Kampala but probably shouldn’t: Continue reading

Posted in Musings, Society | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

John Muir Could Never Get a Job in Conservation Today

Something was lost when the scientists took over from the naturalists in the field of conservation. Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Musings, Wildlife Conservation | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments