It’s official: the Air Uganda line on my bank statement says I’m coming back. I’ll be in Kampala July 4 and 5, and in those two days I’m hoping to make up for the three and half years I’ve spent away from one of my favorite places in the world.
Blogren, perchance we can assemble a UBHH?
This month’s (impromptu) Uganda Blogger Happy Hour was nothing short of perfect. It was the two-year anniversary of the first UBHH. Rev, who’s been a lovable yet aggravating presence since the very beginning, was on his very best behavior (this unfortunately means I have very little to write about). And, proof that the blogren are continually growing, there were new faces. Like I said, perfect.
Nevender and Antipop have considerably more detailed round-ups, and Dee has photos. Before you head over there, though, I want to point you to Solomon, who has a list of Very Important Questions concerning this year’s Uganda Best of Blog Awards. This year we’re introducing prizes including free hosting, your very own domain name, and possibly pizza — go check it out and let us know what you think.
Last thing: earlier this month I wrote about why I blog about Africa. In my wave of Uganda-inspired love, I neglected to obey the rules of the meme and tag other bloggers. Here goes:
Rev — I know you just closed your blog, but surely there’s room for one more post?
Blogren: I’m back. I got in on Sunday and have been successfully avoiding ffene since.
I know happy hour usually takes place the last week of the month, but I’d love to see you all. Dee suggested that I call an impromptu, mid-month reunion. How does next Thursday, January 15 at 7:00pm sound? Mateo’s?
Hope to see you there.
Authentic Ugandan jackfruit via Tumwi
In all the election excitement and liveblogging frenzy, I missed a week. I’m making it up to you with a trip to Uganda.
That’s right, blogren. I’m coming back for two weeks in January, and if there’s not already a Uganda Bloggers’ Happy Hour planned (I’m looking at you and you and you), I’ll throw one.
In other news: elephants.
Elephants are cool in my book: big, adorable, seemingly genial. Except they’re not so friendly when they’re stomping over your crops, exacting revenge. Revenge! Who knew elephants were vengeful? (Even worse: drunken vengeful elephants.)
Apparently Ethan Zuckerman, who wrote last week about the perils of coming face-to-face with a vindictive pachyderm:
It’s a good idea to know whether elephants are enroute to your farm as one elephant can eat a year’s crops in a single evening. If you know that elephants are on the way, you can stand in your fields with torches and chase the animals off.
What you need (besides torches and the ability to outrun an angry elephant), Ethan says, is to know the elephant hordes are coming. Here’s where cool technology comes into play: Kenyan hackers are turning GSM phones into tracking systems. An organization called Save the Elephants has put GSM-powered collars on the animals. When the elephants cross a virtual fence separating them from humans, the collar sends a warning to villagers in the area via SMS.
Even better: since the villagers know they’re coming, they can use spotlights instead of torches and shouting to herd the elephants back to their home, a 90,000-acre conservancy.
In case any of you thought this whole mobile phone activism thing was just for politics geeks: remember the elephants.
I’m sitting in Kansas biting my nails. Does this month mark the end of Uganda Bloggers Happy Hour? No word from Ivan (too tired from your party?) or Rev.
If it is the end, hit the comments and let me know why. I have my own theories (mainly involving you all sitting at home, mourning my departure and/or that you’ve concocted a bigger, better blogren bash and aren’t inviting me, though that would be crazy), but I want to know yours.