Today marks the first month that I’ve been in Uganda. I’ve been able to achieve some of my goals at the university and explore the country with awesome people.
Two more months to go and I’ve still got plenty to do here, no time to get bored!
Progress for MMU
At the university I’ve made some good progress but it hasn’t been easy.
Some things make work more difficult around here compared to Belgium; Power cuts occur regularly which make me lose a lot of time, it can take 30 minutes or more until I’m able to resume my work.
I also think some monkeys or elephants don’t like the fibre connection because we’ve had at least one fibre break every week. Depending on the location and severity it can take up to two days to mend these breaks.
Nonetheless I’ve been able to make some good progress. I’ve been able to restore the network and (most) services at the main building. The new building now has internet connection via the fibre link. People were really happy when they got their Wi-Fi over there.
The fibre link to the agriculture and health department still isn’t working which irks me a lot. We’ve spent a lot of time troubleshooting this connection. I suspect there might be a (physical) problem with the fibre connection. Troubleshooting this requires equipment that I don’t have and documentation of the installation which is non-existent…
After a lot of complaining I’ve been put in touch with the right people at the companies who installed and manage the fibre. I’m confident that with this joint effort we’ll be able to fix the issues.
I’m getting used to the Ugandan lifestyle. At noon I eat at a hostel nearby the university. They prepare local food for only 2500 UGX, that’s about €0.65. It took some time to get used to this food but I found some that I like.
For transport around town we use a boda boda. A boda boda is a motorcycle taxi which are really common here, finding one doesn’t take long. The price is something you have to negotiate fiercely, most of the times you have to divide their given price by 2 to get the real price.
At weekends I explore the beautiful Uganda with some good company. Please view the pictures because words can’t describe the wonderful nature.
We departed on a hike from the University at lake Saaka with Ambare Caves as our destination. My colleague Peter joined us on the hike. Thanks to him we were able to get the right directions to the caves. A guide took us through some jungle to the caves. The caves aren’t really caves but more like notches in the mountain. The beauty of the Ambare caves is the small waterfall in the jungle.
The Kyaninga lodge is located at a crater lake and is really stunning! On our hike there we spotted some monkeys that live there. Lake Kyaninga is one of the few lakes around here that’s really safe to swim in. It’s really refreshing on such a hot day.
We met Dennis and Eline, two really great Belgians who stayed here for 6 months to research the tourism in Uganda. They really know a lot about Uganda! On their last day here in Fort-Portal they took us in their jeep to see some beautiful places. We got to see some more monkeys, birds and beautiful views.
Bundibugyo is a town located near the Rwenzori mountains, only 50km from Congo. It’s about an 2 and a half hour’s drive but this trip was about the journey, not the destination. The views along the windy road were really amazing. We saw mountains, plains, tropical forests and I could add baboons to my list of monkeys I’ve spotted!
Plans for the following weeks
I want to get MMU fully operational asap. When everything is working as it should be I can start improving the network and more importantly teaching the IT staff. They’ve got to learn a lot but are very eager to get started.