Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Photo tour: Let's take a drive

While my father-in-law was visiting, we took a trip to northern Uganda. But he also pulled out his camera here in Kampala, simply shooting from his hip (literally--with the camera on his thigh, so he wouldn't offend).
The result, for me, had the benefit of capturing a little of what the streets are like here. Some of them capture the riot of color that is everywhere, or the orangeness of the dirt and all it covers, or the choas, or how function almost always surpasses form.
These may not seem to have particular subjects; maybe they'll feel too random to some. But hopefully you'll get another little snapshot of our world here. I'll add a few captions here and there for commentary.

The large sack in front here is likely charcoal for the charcoal stove, or "segirit." Charcoal is brought in from the villages because people can't get firewood easily in the city.  (Gas or electric stoves are not an affordable option for most of the city.) Unfortunately, making charcoal causes a great deal of deforestation, resulting in lack of firewood, produce, and mudslides that affect the poor very directly and immediately.

This is a "Boda Stage"--a place for "staging" the waiting motorcycle taxis. "Boda boda" is a corruption of the English words "Border to Border." They are less affordable than the fifteen-passenger van taxis (matatus), but still within reach of most locals for occasional use. Both forms of taxi can be fairly dangerous to other drivers--! I'd estimate that less than 40% of drivers wear helmets, and hardly any riders. See photo below.  
Remember Ggaba Road, where they make the furniture? A lot of this is left out in the rain, but no big deal. From what we've seen, it's often stuffed with old clothes and foam mattresses. It's also a lot less comfortable than it looks...

People definitely carry things on their heads here, just like they do in the pictures.

See the bike on the right? The loads on bikes and bodas continue to fascinate me. See photo below.

There are a lot of longhorn cattle along the road, along with other animals. One of my friends got a horn in his window--! Sometimes they're just ambling down the road with a rope on their neck and no owner in sight; sometimes they're just grazing right on the shoulder; other times they're being prodded by a guy with a long stick.

The yellow cans are known as "jerry cans", useful for hauling water since most people don't have running water in their homes. The cans are also used for petrol (i.e. gasoline) or for whatever else they're needed. And see the smoke? To me, Kampala smells like charcoal stoves, burning trash, and exhaust.



This photo and the next are of a market; you can see the stacks of produce, as well as the mound of matooke (the local staple, which is a form of very starchy banana that tastes a bit like a potato) on which the man is sitting.

1 comment:

anna w said...

Thanks for the photo tour! I love getting to visualize where you live a bit more!