Wednesday, July 13, 2011


After a 36 hour journey from Kampala to London to Paris to Seattle, I'm back! Unfortunately, my suitcase didn't make it. No word from Air France on its whereabouts... if any of you folks want souvenirs, you'd better hope it turns up...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

dangerously bold

Educate! founder Eric Glustrom (Amherst '07) recently won a Doritos Do
Something grant for Educate! His mug will grace 40 million bags of chips.

For the past month I've been a volunteer consultant for Educate!, an NGO run by two Amherst friends. I've been helping Educate! restructure their finance systems, redefine job roles and titles, and hire an accountant. I've loved my time here, and have been consistently impressed by the spirit and determination of the staff and the organization's commitment to exponential empowerment.

A little overview of Educate!:

Educate! has created a new model of education that capitalizes on the huge, untapped potential of youth to become the solution to the social challenges Africa faces. Educate! teaches a two year socially responsible leadership curriculum. It is not a traditional curriculum, rather one focused on the skills and experience students need to find solutions to poverty, violence, disease, and environmental degradation. The teachers are not traditional teachers, rather mentors who build powerful relationships that give youth confidence to lead change. And the classroom is the community itself, where the Educate! students start initiatives that work for the rights of all. Today, Educate! is working with 830 high-school aged youth across Uganda and developing a model of education that can be applied universally.

Through the Educate! program, high school students in Uganda, called Educate! Scholars, are empowered to start sustainable initiatives in their communities. Though a two-year social change curriculum, long-term mentoring, and alumni network, Educate! lays the foundation for students to become the next generation of socially responsible leaders.

Friday, June 24, 2011

once upon a time in london

Hi Folks. Just got back from two days at Sipi falls in Eastern Uganda. Pictures coming soon! In the meantime, let's backtrack. I've been meaning to post some photos from my fun four days in London in June. Hilights included an afterhours tour of the Tate Britain, birthday dinner with my sisters, Aunt Mary, and Uncle Nick, a hilarious stand-up/dance show, and catching up with my great friend Alex Henson. Lowlight: accidently sending a pigeon to its death at Borough Market. The details are too painful to mention here. Ask me about it. Actually, don't.

Out late @ Tate.

VIP access, nbd.

An afternoon cocktail at Mary and Nick's.

Herring soufflé. Aunt Mary takes "every day gourmet" to the next level.

Neil's Yard Cheese Shop. Heaven on earth.

Funky Friendly Society Bar, Soho, London.

Fancy drinks w/ Alex and Stephanie

High-energy birthday celebration.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

cultural safari

Thanks to my friend Chi, who works for the Uganda Community Tourism Association, I got a great deal on a "Cultural Safari" two weekends ago. What is a "Cultural Safari", you may ask. Well, in addition to seeing some amazing animals (see previous post), we met a number of locals who are working to develop sustainable tourism projects, and explored the different crafts and traditions of the region. I and my six companions did a (half-priced @ $192) "trail run" of the trip, and gave feedback to the different activity leaders, guides, and performers that we met over the course of the four-day weekend. The fact that we were providing valuable feedback saved the trip from feeling super cheesy. We spent a night at an amazing little camp in Rubona, a village nestled in the Rwenzori mountains, and two nights at a rustic lodge near the entrance to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Beatrice learns how to make beeswax candles at the BCC Bee Colony in Rubona

Tanya learns how to dye basket-weaving raffia using flowers and and roots.

As we walked to the trailhead for a hike in the Rwenzori Mountains, we passed a number of men traveling in large pack and wielding machetes and other weapons. We asked one of them what was going on, and found out that a wild animal had been attacking and killing goats all over the village. The man didn't know the English word for the predator and when we guessed "hyena," he said that it sounded right. They were on a mission to find and kill the hyena.

Four hours later, on our walk back to our camp post-hike, we noticed a huge group gathered in a field. Had they captured or killed the predator? We approached to find out. We were shocked to discover, in the middle of their cluster, a small, dead... dog! Apparently jungle dogs will latch onto the udders of goats and bring them down. Yikes.

Salt lake mining.

Quick stop at the equator.

On the way back to town we swung by safari adventurer
Beatrice's childhood home and met her super cool mom.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Last weekend I saw a ton of animals.

from roadside baboons.... salt lake flamingoes.... (female) lions... friendly chameleons.

(this is the same chameleon 30 seconds later!!)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

just another day at lugogo mall

It's a little hard to tell from the picture, but these storks are at least 3 feet tall. One could totally physically dominate me if I got between it and its garbage/food.

Apologies for the dearth of posts. The internet here is uber slow- pictures take hours to upload if I'm lucky. Just got back from an amazing four-day "cultural safari" that included hiking, basket weaving, candle making, jewelry making, and a land and water safari. I REALLY hope to be able to share some pictures in the next few days!