About

 About

Mark Jordahl

Idi Amin. Milton Obote. The Luweero Triangle. Deepest, darkest Africa. These are the things that many people think of when they hear the word “Uganda.” There is a tingle of fear that accompanies the name.

This isn’t the Uganda I know. The Uganda I know is a biological and cultural crossroads at the heart of Africa. This is the place where the vast Congolese rainforest meets the open savannas of East Africa, and where the Nilotic tribes of the north meet the Bantu tribes of the south. This is the home of the legendary Mountains of the Moon, where year-round glaciers exist on the equator, and the source of the River Nile where it spills from Lake Victoria. Over one thousand species of birds take refuge in this small country, as well as over half the world’s remaining mountain gorillas.

The allure of adventure has drawn westerners here since the earliest explorations by John Hanning Speke, Henry Morton Stanley, Samuel Baker and Emin Pasha. Ernest Hemminway crashed his plane here – twice – and Teddy Roosevelt came here on a hunting safari with his son to stock the Natural History Museum in Washington D.C.  Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart came here to film parts of The African Queen, and Winston Churchill was so inspired by its beauty that he dubbed it “The Pearl of Africa.”

The physical beauty of Uganda is perhaps only surpassed by the warmth of its people. Almost as if in compensation for a difficult past, bright smiles and the phrase “you are most welcome” greet you around every turn. There is no simple word for “hello” in any of the 56 local languages. Every greeting is the opening of a conversation, and you are never too busy to ask about the health of another person’s family.

About me:

MJ on launch 300x178 AboutI am a writer, naturalist, educator and trip leader. I have lived in Kampala, Uganda on and off for the last seven years, and as of March 2011 I am based in a small town at 8,500′ in the mountains of Colorado. I live by the words “May your path go ever forward but never straight.” The twists and turns of my life have taken me through many interests and many corners of the globe.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Buddhist Studies and a Master’s Degree in Conservation Education, which really aren’t as different as you might think.

I have lived as a sea kayaking guide in Alaska, a wanderer in India, an electrician in Colorado and even held a desk job or two along the way.

I taught Natural History and Ecology of the Pacific Northwest as adjunct faculty at University of Washington, through the graduate program in Education, Environment and Community at IslandWood on Bainbridge Island. While at IslandWood I also taught field-based environmental education to kids of all ages and facilitated corporate retreats for Boeing, Starbucks, DLR Group, and many others.

Mark bio 2 300x224 AboutMy main focus now is on writing, and through this blog I hope to make people think. I try to take the issues that pop up in Uganda and put a slightly different twist on them. If you have been reading my posts, I hope I have made you a bit uncomfortable at times.

If you need a writer for a project, or if you just want to get in touch, feel free to contact me at mark@conservationconcepts.net.

Download Mark’s CV.

17 Responses to About

  1. Richard Louv says:

    Mark, I very much liked your current post, and would like to get in touch with you. I’m working on what I call my Alleged New Book, and facing a deadline. But would appreciate interviewing you via email.

    Rich

  2. Wolfgang says:

    Please send me your email contact to follow up on your comments about my eTN reports.
    Thank you
    Wolfgang

  3. Nancy Fraser says:

    Hi Mark, from our beautiful state of Washington I appreciate the work you do and just want to follow what is happening. Peace, Sista Nancy Fraser

    I

  4. mariam says:

    h,i want to know about eid aladha

  5. mariam says:

    hi,i wanna know about rid alahdha

  6. Emmanuel says:

    Mark, great to meet you over this medium. I love Uganda and hope you do to. What do you think is the remedy to the institutionalized corruption that was born, bread and groomed a couple of decades ago and maturing?

    • Mark Jordahl says:

      I think it will happen when Ugandans really decide they aren’t willing to put up with it. In the States, many poor people vote in ways that benefit the rich to their own detriment, because they hope that someday they will be rich and will benefit from those policies. I think it is the same way here. Nobody wants to stop corruption because they hope that someday they may be on the receiving end rather than the losing end. It is frustrating, though. Uganda is NOT a poor country – there is a lot of money here, and this place could be an absolute paradise if more of the money was used to develop the country. It is not going to be an easy transition, though. The people in power are not going to give up the feeding trough easily.

      Mark

  7. Emmanuel says:

    Mark:
    To contextualize, I was referring to Uganda and NOT any other part of the world.

  8. Easyuganda says:

    great blog.. thanx for all your time.

  9. Amanda green says:

    Hi,

    Please let me know if you accept paid guest posts on your site, Wild Thoughts. I work with freelance writers to create posts on sites like yours that link to a clients page within the context of the post. These are never reviews or advertisements for the link, just informational posts that are tailored to fit the content and audience of the site they are written for.

    Is that something you are interested in discussing? If you are, what are your guidelines for this type of agreement?

    Best,
    Amanda

  10. Mark,
    I very much enjoyed your pictures of the safari and it brought back memories of my own safaris. I’m going to post pictures and more stories soon but in the meantime, enjoy this
    http://blog.galiwood.com/2009/01/murchison-falls-safari-08-part-one.html

  11. Good blog Mark and quite honest as well. I enjoy your views about Uganda – Might be different views from mine some times but gives me something to think about in a different perspective. Great!

    Robert at i-Uganda.com
    (http://www.i-uganda.com/)

  12. Dear Mark,
    I recently traveled to Northern Uganda and set up an art therapy service in an orphanage for former child soldiers and young people affected by conflict and trauma.I came back a week ago and I am hoping to return in a few months to carry on with the work. Below is the short movie I made while I was there;
    http://youtu.be/_AmdJNE2XLA

    I would appreciate if you watch the clip and forward the link to friends and colleagues. I’m hoping it’ll help to promote the awareness and the sponsorship of war orphans at the orphanage and with a bit of luck, raise financial funds for further resources.

    I please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you’d like more info about this project or how you can support the orphanage.

    davidtaransaud@yahoo.com

    Thank you very much.
    David

  13. Carmel says:

    Hi Mark, I came across your site as I have just returned from a trip to Uganda and was really dismayed and worried about the oil developments that are endangering the wildlife. I am a tourism consultant, and looking at helping Ugandan local communities earn more income from tourism but if the wildlife and birds are displaced there won’t be any tourism either. The oil will be there for 20 years but the wildlife and tourism will never be restored. Anything that can be done to raise awareness of this?

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