"We also said that the (Millenium Villages) project had been a failure when we meant to say that it was a failure if judged by inability to scale up across Africa. Sorry."
On March 6th, 2012, I successfully reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I trekked with eight other Princeton in Africa Fellows and two friends of the program. Our journey to Uhuru Peak and back took a little over a week via the Machame Route. During that time we climbed to an altitude of 5,895 m (19,341 ft), the highest point in Africa. The experience challenged us both physically and mentally. Despite the statistics, all eleven members of our party made it to the summit.
There’s a lot to say and I’m afraid my prose won’t be able to capture the essence of the experience. However, I’m glad that I had the opportunity to share this experience with such amazing people and will do my best to communicate it with my friends and family back home. In an attempt to do the journey justice, I’ll be writing a multiple post series covering everything from short anecdotes to reflections on why I decided to climb Kili and what I learned on the mountain. I’ll update this post with links to the others as I finish them. I’ll also gather photos from my friends to share.
Thank you for your continued support!
"Unfortunately, the banana varieties grown in Uganda are low in essential micronutrients, particularly Vitamin A and Iron. To increase these levels, Dale and his team in Australia are collaborating closely with Ugandan scientists at that country’s National Agricultural Research Organization. The NARO team, led by Dr. Wilberforce Tushemereirwe, has made important contributions – developing research protocols, conducting field trials, and planning distribution of new, more nutritious banana varieties to Ugandan farmers. The NARO team’s involvement is a great example of young African scientists playing a major role as full partners in using state-of-the-art science for development of new products important to agriculture and health in their own country."
For the next week I will be entertaining my first visitor from home, my father. I’m excited. Though I have been having an absolute blast living in Kampala, spats of home sickness are inevitable. Sometimes you just want a cheeseburger. Sharing my new home with my dad will help him understand and I’ll take comfort in knowing that at least one person back home has seen my life in Africa.
Initially, we talked about meeting in Tanzania. We thought it would be fun to see the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. After some reflection, I suggested that he come to see Uganda. There is a tremendous amount to do here. In fact, Lonely Planet recently gave Uganda its stamp of approval. Here is our itinerary for the week:
Sunday: Visit Ggaba Port to buy fish from local fisherman for lunch.
Monday-Tuesday: Lake Bunyonyi, one of the deepest lakes in Africa.
Wednesday: Trekking with mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Friday: Game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The first half of my Princeton in Africa Fellowship simply flew by. I’d like to think I have made the most of my time here in Kampala, Uganda thus far. I made brilliant new friends, traveled throughout the country and worked on inspiring infrastructure projects. For the holidays, I spent around three weeks back in the States. This gave me the opportunity to reflect on the first half of my fellowship and set new goals for myself in 2012. I’d like to share three of these with you: