If dogs run free…

why not me?

BBQ party and visiting Akiki.

Before the party for Lib and Dennis there were some house keeping chores to attend to. One was the installation of the purple potty in the garden. A favorite dog died and is buried under the thing. Quite classy.IMG_3728

We also had to visit Dennis and Eric’s grandmother, Akiki, before the party. Dennis was being teased by his cousins that he had failed to drop in on her sooner, and she, Akiki, was angry. This was of course not true. When we dropped by, Akiki couldn’t have been happier. They think she is around 90, but she doesn’t know exactly when as he was born. Her son, Godfrey, was Dennis and Eric’s father. He was a lawyer, as was their mother, Rosemary. Both were quite successful. So, here is the crowd visiting Akiki in her little house.


From left to right are Blondie (Lucy), Baby-Ma (Cathy), Barb, Emmett, Akiki, Lib, Dennis, Ann-Elise and Rebecca. Blondie and Baby-Ma are cousins of Dennis, Ann-Elise forks for Kadafrica and lives with Eric and Rebecca. Rebecca is Eric’s wife. Akiki speaks mostly Rotoro and Swahili, although I think she understands a great deal more English than she will admit. Dennis speaks some is fluent in Swahili, and his cousins speak English and Swahili and Rotoro, so there was communication.

Eric and Rebecca  normally have a guard at the house at night. Here he is with Eric and Dennis. Yes the gun is loaded, and he does seem to know how to use it.


Here are Lib and Rachael ready to party. Rachael is from Fort Portal and lives with Eric and Rebecca, actually in the small house in back with her four year old son, Gerald. Rachael does cleaning and bookkeeping  work for Kadafrica. She just purchased some land, and will, in a few years move there. Lib looks fantastic!


Here are Blondie, Marunga (another cousin), Baby-Ma and Rachael, ready to party!


And of course, here are Lib and Dennis towards the end of the evening.


Without going into detail, it was great party.




On the road to Fort Portal.

We set out for Fort Portal in the heavily loaded Toyota with Dennis, Lib, Barb, Emmett and me, plus luggage and a cooler full of meat for the BBQ. All was well until the car overheated. Here is the place we stopped.


Fortunately, there were some metal worker across the street who had water. Dennis arranged for them to help top up the radiator and away we went. At the time we noticed that the radiator cap was broken.

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Not surprisingly, the car soon overheated again. Here is stop two.


Dennis did, however, have the good sense to purchase a jerry can of water, so we let things cool, then topped it up and away we went. We then stopped at ?????, purchased a radiator cap and resumed our travels to Fort Portal, engine cool all the way.

Dennis’s brother Eric and his wife  Rebecca are hosting us in Fort (as they say). Here is their house. It and the house in Kampala were built by  Eric and Dennis’s parents, Godfrey and Rosemary.


We went to visit the farm, Kadafrica.
It is out in the boonies, but is quite lovely. Andrew, the farm manager showed us around.


They have an area of veggies of various kinds, strawberries, cabbage, peppers, etc. They are about to prepare an additional area for passion fruit vines, after having received a round of impact investment. The trees have been cut.


Now they are waiting for the stumps to be pulled before planting the passion fruit. One area toward the bottom of the hill will be planted in eucalyptus trees as a seven year cash crop.

We also found a couple of dung beetles doing their thing. I cannot add more images at the moment, but will do so later.

We also visited one of the plots where local girls are given training in growing passion fruit, as a way to help make them financially independent. See the Kadafrica web site for more information. All very impressive.(pictures to follow when network is working better).

Tomorrow is the big BBQ party to meet all the Fort Portal family.

ps. Note that there is limited bandwidth in Fort Portal, so postings may be fewer than when in Kampala. I will try to catch up when we get back to the big, hot city.

pps. We are back from Fort, but bandwidth is not much better. I’ll add more later.





Emmett arrived at the house at 5am today. After a mid-day brunch of French toast, bacon and eggs (thanks, Lib) we relaxed and caught up on sleep. Barb, Emmett, Lib, Dennis and Dennis’ cousin Marunga all went swimming. I stayed home and went for a walk. When I got back I had a nice long chat with Emma (Emanuel) and his daughter Sheila. Actually, just with Emma since his daughter speaks almost no English. Emma is from Fort Portal where Dennis’ father was from. He came to Kampala to oversee the building of the wall on the football pitch Dennis has been working on. He then stayed and lives in the back house with his daughter, who is nine. Emma was somewhat taken aback to learn that houses in America are usually wooden framed. That kind of construction would not last long here, what with termites and warm, moist weather. Here are Emma and Sheila.

The pitch is a large area in back of the house that at one time was going to have some apartments on it, but the project was stopped and everything was torn down. Dennis had the area cleared, leveled and planted with grass. He also had Emma manage the building of the wall around the pitch. Dennis’ idea is to use it for training local kids, as well as using it for various events. Here are Scoobie, Lib and Emmett admiring the pitch.


There is a nice avocado tree in the yard. Here is Lib offering one to me.


Here are Dennis, Emmett and Lib in the drive.



Here is a little gecko that was in the house.


We are off to Fort Portal tomorrow for a BBQ on Saturday in honor of Lib and Dennis. Perhaps this is when I will receive my cattle.

We’re at the Kaduru house

Here is a link to an overview of Kampala, as seen in Google maps. If you just keep zooming in you will get to a view of the Kaduru house, as seen in this screen clip.  It is the one with the large bare area behind it. That area is now a nice grassy football pitch and event area.

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The house is the one with the grey roof and a small adjoining red-roofed building.

If you go to this Google Earth street view you’ll see their road to the left. This one shows the drive into their compound. The red-roofed building is the guest house, also seen in the aerial view above. We are in the main house in a spare bedroom.

The roads are in much worse shape than they seem to be in the street view scenes. I’ll take some shot later to show how potholed they are. I’ll also post some video of the traffic.

Beth, yes, pictures of people to follow. I’ve been napping a lot the past two days. Tonight we pick up Emmett.

In Kampala

IMG_3572After leaving Montpelier on Sunday at noon, we arrived in Entebbe at 3am Monday. It was a long trip, but we are glad to be here. So far just hanging out with Scoobie the dog. Scoobie will not try to grab food or treats. They have to hit the floor before he will get them.

We’ve been to the pool, shopping, driving around in wild traffic, and, of course, relaxing. Emmett arrives at 3am tonight. Then on Thursday we’ll head to Fort Portal in anticipation of the big party.

Here’s the pool:


Hi! I’m back.

I guess I just sort of stopped posting about Antarctica. We made it back to MCM, then CHC, then home. I was exhausted and just never got back to finishing out the posts. Maybe later.

It is over a year since the trip to the ice. Now Barb and I are headed to Uganda to visit Libby and Dennis. There will be an engagement BBQ at the farm in Fort Portal (or is it Port Fortal), much relaxing , and a safari to see animals and such. Emmett will be joining us for most of the trip. It should be great. I will try to post as often as possible. We will have no network when in Fort Portal or when on safari. I hope I won’t disappoint the half dozen avid readers of this site.

Triassic compressions

A locality with compression fossils was discovered in the hills about 1-2 km from the camp site. It turned out to have a diverse assemblage, and was greeted with much excitement. Here is a view from slightly down slope. You can see the channel sandstone clearly. The fossils are in a clay (slate) layer that represents an overbank environment.


Looking at the site from above you can see that it is a thin layer, no more than a foot thick that yields the compressions.


Here are some representative specimens. By last Saturday we had collected about 1,200 lbs of compressions. I am sure they managed to collect more over the weekend.


From top to bottom is a Dicroidium leaf (note bifurcation in leaf rachis), the base of a ginkgophyte leaf, another Dicroidium species and tips of a ginkgo leaf and a cycad leaf and a Dicroidium leaf.

More to follow.