Uganda Travel Stories

24 Hours Kiefer Sutherland

24 Hours Kiefer Sutherland
I copied Seasons 2-6 of the Television series 24 Hours with Kiefer Sutherland onto my computer. I admit it, I have been watching about six hour per day of this action soap opera. There are no commercials on my version, I think the suspense never ends, and there is an endless stream of questions,
“What is going to happen next?”

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Kabale, Uganda
East Africa
Friday, May 22, 2009

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Movie rentals in Uganda have been the best on the planet, I rented maybe 50 plus videos and only about two have been bad quality.

I think Jack Bauer played by Kiefer Sutherland has killed 5-10 times more people than Dirty Harry played by Clint Eastwood. There must be some record keeping of kills, it is nothing to see him knock off five bad guys within minutes.

President Obama must truly hate this show, I have now seen Kiefer interrogate and torture at least three suspects by shooting the person in the leg, then pushing on the wound to intensify the pain. Then having a Black President support him, the similarities are great.

I respect President Obama, and I am sure the CIA and other agencies are explaining the real facts of life to him, it is obvious he is having trouble reconciling his campaign promises with what is truly possible. President Obama is adapting, he has a tough job, he must now accept reality and maneuver the public opinion effectively, in this area he is genius, so I know he will do well.

I admire the character Jack Bauer played by Kiefer Sutherland, the moral decisions he makes on the show explains the world. On the other hand, I doubt the real governmental agencies of the USA are even a tenth as effective; I tend to look at them as bumbling efficient, more or less throwing so much money at situation it is solved.

When reasoning out problems, often one person can solve effectively, efficiently and pragmatically what the world cannot fathom.

24 Hours Kiefer Sutherland


Be Self Contained Travel Tip

Be Self-Contained Travel Tip
Travelers or Tourists should strive to be “Self-contained Travelers,” this is the goal if you wish to live in comfort anywhere on the planet.

I speak American English, while East Africans speaks some modified version of British English. When I enter a Hotel in East Africa, I ask,
“What is the cheapest room in the hotel?”
East Africans say,
“Self-contained?”
At first, I gave them a dazed look, I was not sure I understood the term, I then would reiterate,
“Show me the cheapest room you have.”

I then take an inspection tour of the Hotel walking around and having the manager open interesting rooms. They normally steer me towards the expensive rooms because they wish to rent them, and normally white people rent the most expensive.

Slowly the word “self-contained” was defined; this term in East Africa means a room with shower and toilet inside the room. I believe Hot water is not included in the term.

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Kabale, Uganda
East Africa
Friday, May 22, 2009

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The term self-contained has created cognitive dissonance in my brain. What does the world self-contained mean?

SELF-CONTAINED DEFINED IN DICTIONARY
1. having everything required: possessing all the features and facilities required to function independently
2. keeping feelings private: able or tending to keep feelings and opinions private or to control feelings and reactions in front of others.
3. having own facilities and entrance: describes accommodations that have their own kitchen, bathroom, and entrance

BUT DIFFERENT
Ok, self-contained here is not the same as the definition, these rooms for sure do not contain kitchens, however, they are using the term correctly in their way and culture.

MY ASPIRATION
I strive to be a self-contained traveler; I want to have within my concrete cubicle all the gear needed to make my room self-contained to the my desires, not yours.



I HAVE
1. Hot Water Heater to make hot water for bathing.
2. Movies to watch on Computer
3. Light so I can read
4. Hot Plate for cooking
5. Mosquito Net to serve as screens on windows
6. Clothesline to wash clothes
7. Backpack Organizer to serve as closet
8. Towel when they do not provide one.
9. Solar Panel to provide electricity when not provided.
10. Bucket to hold water when not provided.
11. Mirror

This is a quick list of the top of my head, and I am going to develop a section on web site to add to this list.

I have never found a Hotel on planet earth that had everything the way I wanted it, I have however adapted a room to the way I want it. The more capable you become at being a self-contained traveler the cheaper you can travel and you will live in comfort while everyone around you in tolerating the room.

Do you move the bed and furniture in a Hotel room?

Be Self-Contained Travel Tip


The Future of Internet Access

The Future of Internet Access
Travel Tip

How will we access the internet in the future? I have visited four continents in the last year and would like to predict the future of internet access. Within the next two years… globally this will happen, not USA-centric, the USA is just a small part of the planet that makes a big noise, this prediction is for planet earth, not just the USA.

83 percent of browsing and surfing will be done over a normal cell phone.

15 percent will plug a USB device into their computer and access internet coming from a cell tower.

2 landlines or cable ran to business or house.

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Kabale, Uganda
East Africa
Thursday, May 21, 2009

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More or less this is what will happen, landlines telephones grid systems are inefficient, inconvenient and most of the planet does not have them or the money to maintain landlines.

- Computers are for people who can type.
- Cell Phone access is for people who cannot type.
- Landlines are for businesses in the developed countries, which is only about 20 percent of the planet.



This is a USB device in Kenya by the Safaricom Company. I entered an internet café and the owner put this into my USB slot. There was software on the device, he then entered a key code and it allowed me access to the internet on my laptop. (I wanted to rent it for a couple of days and take back to my room.)

I saw the same device in Peru and in Guatemala. A reader wrote and asked if this existed in the USA, I do not know, he had become addicted in Italy.

This type of device is quickly becoming the world standard, I do hope the computer companies start to make a separation space between USB slots, this device is too wide and causes a problems when trying to use two slots side by side.



I store critical information on a thumb drive, and then back it up on the computer. I need to use my primary information on the chip at all times, therefore the man found an extension cord to allow me to plug in both devices at the same time.

I believe I need to start carrying a USB extension card to allow me plug in two wide USB devices at the same time.

Nonetheless, that little chip is quickly becoming the standard way of accessing the Internet on planet earth.

The Verizon BlackBerry Storm is connected to a global internet system that allows me to connect seamlessly in about 170 countries. I am told the Iphone, by Apple does not have seamless connection; a person needs to coordinate the connection as they travel. This Data connection will surely be extended to all types of cell phones in the next few years and the whole world will be surfing the internet on their cell phones, and when using a computer they will plug in a USB device.

Blackberry, - Cell Phone for Travel, - Communications, - Electronics for Travel, - Internet, -
Skype.com, - Fax, - How to Fax, - Mobile Office

The Future of Internet Access


Unique Bottle Top Opener

Unique Bottle Top Opener
Uganda restaurants and bars have this unique bottle top opener, I have yet to find one for sale, however I am still looking.

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Kabale, Uganda
East Africa
Thursday, May 21, 2009

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The bottle opener is made of wood, and in my opinion would be the perfect opener for a home bar or formal setting. However, I am not sure it is still needed, possibly all bottles in developed countries have screw off tops.



There is a screw inside the top, it will catch on the edge of a bottle cap and allow the user to pry the top off.



What do I know, I have not went in a liquor store in 20 years, however this bottle opener would be the perfect accessory to a person who has well stocked bar in their house.

It is enjoyable to see the many ways the world does the same thing in a different way.

Just today I was looking at the pillowcase in my hotel room; I would estimate I have seen 15-20 different designs for the simple bed pillowcases in my perpetual circling of the planet. Every once in a while I start to group photos into categories, and then I slowly give up on the project because of the difficulty in filing the photos. One of these days I will find a simple way to file them and create some curious photo exposes.

Food, - Restaurants

Unique Bottle Top Opener


Africa Travel Fatigue Travel Tip

Africa Travel Fatigue Travel Tip
“Travel teaches tolerance.”
- Benjamin Disraeli, 1st earl of Beaconsfield

I have traveled in West Africa three times and now one time in East Africa, I am not going to count Morocco and Egypt as part of Africa.

I lived in Africa from one to eight months each time. I am starting to show symptoms of Africa travel fatigue, the major symptoms are anger, impatience and intolerance of African people.

It is difficult to respect African people; they do little to deserve it.

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Kabale, Uganda
East Africa
Wednesday, May 20, 2009

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“Travel teaches tolerance.”
- Benjamin Disraeli, 1st earl of Beaconsfield

Who is Benjamin Disraeli referring to in this quote? He is referring to the people, places and things we encounter when we travel.

FATIGUE:
- Mental or physical exhaustion: extreme tiredness or weariness resulting from physical or mental activity

How much stupid behavior can you put up with before you go crazy? I came to a primitive and uncivilized place, I am experiencing exactly what I expected and planned on experiencing.

REJUVENATE:
- Return something to original condition: to restore something to its condition when new, or make it more vigorous, dynamic, and effective.

How do rejuvenate myself, how to I restore my mental condition? I must stop doing what caused the fatigue, then proceed to do activities that gives me energy.

I have been through this emotional roller coaster many times. Every person is different, I know when my energy is being drained, and I know ways to restore my energy. I often walk away from a person and ask myself,
“Does this person give me energy or am I weaker?”

I knew my energy was weak and I was in luck, I was able to return to the Flockline hotel here in Kabale where the staff treats me with respect. Hmm, they do better than average, they really have no clear understanding of developed world manners.

How do they treat me with respect? The do not call me White Man or Musungo, they actually use my name, just this is relief.



I am watching computers on my computer; maybe I should watch the Gladiator.



I enjoy a good conversation, the man’s name is Bruno, he is a friend here in Kabale. He is extremely energetic and never stops talking, genuinely a good person. I start to laugh every time I talk with him; this is my goal, to feel happier.



This is a Justin, a girl that works in the Hotel, she also makes me laugh, her English is sparse, however she makes the day better.

Normally, I could find an expatriate community in a country and go visit them, have some good conversations in English some sanity. I have not encountered any expats hanging around for the fun of it here in East Africa.

I recommend people travel with a friend, not a good way to learn about Africa, however a good way to keep from going crazy. The majority of people can tolerate up to one month in Africa without serious problems.

I am following the advice of Wade from VagabondJourney.com.
“Walk Slow.”

Africa Travel Fatigue Travel Tip


Sudden Need to Clean Backpack

Sudden Need to Clean Backpack
Mom and Dad, I am fine, I have left the dangerous area.

If I do not have enough crap hitting the fan, on the trip from Kisoro to Kabale they placed my one backpack in the trunk of the car with fish. My backpack reeks of fish, I hate the fish smell, it is worst than body odor.

I walked around my room searching for the smell, looking for used condoms under the bed, checking the bedspread cover, plugging up the drains in the shower to stop methane. It was my backpack, I carried the problem smell into the room.

I rode in 10,000 Shilling collective taxi with seven people in the car and an overloaded trunk or boot as the Brits say. I suspect the fat women in the front had a bag of fish and of course, in standard operating procedure with no care in the world they stuffed the bag of fish on top of my backpack.

I removed my computer and camera bag from inside this bag, this type of problem is rampant. If possible, I carry this essential bag on my lap, and today I was lucky I did.

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Kabale, Uganda
East Africa
Tuesday, May 19, 2009

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My bag hanging in the sun to dry, I suspect it will take up to two days to dry completely. I decided to wash the small computer/camera bag because it was extremely dirty.



I took a rubber drain stopper and put over the shower drain, filled it with water and put a huge amount of powdered laundry soap into the water. I did not rinse well, maybe the soap smell will help override the fish.

Sudden Need to Clean Backpack


Danger in Kisoro Uganda

Danger in Kisoro Uganda
I do not have enough money to leave Uganda, I must stay in country for another day or two.

I am in an extremely dangerous situation here in Kisoro. Yesterday, I tried to use the Stanbic Bank ATM machine here in Kisoro. I entered my card and it authorized the payment, however did not give me the money.

Stanbic Bank cannot or will fix the problem, if the Bank is scamming me, then continuing to ask questions becomes increasingly dangerous. Even if they are not scamming me, asking too many questions in Africa is always dangerous. I must leave the city today to be safe.

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Kisoro, Uganda
East Africa
Tuesday, May 19, 2009

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Mr. Agreye or something like that at Stanbic Bank told me to call my bank and they would fix it. I called Debbie at National City and she says to wait and they can dispute it if there is a problem. Essentially both Bankers tell me to wait and neither understands the Bank daily computer cycling process well enough to explain, they more or less say trust the computers.

I ask Debbie what I information do I need to make a dispute, she says nothing, and I truly know both Bankers are giving me the tomorrow crap. She says to wait until tomorrow and she will check again, she did not realize there is a time difference…

Maybe it is an honest error, maybe they will fix it, I do not have enough money to go to Rwanda. There is one Bank machine here in Kisoro at the Stanbic Bank, the machine is broken. It would be stupid on my part to use the same machine again and hope it works. I will make the four hour trip to Kabale today and use the Barclays Bank ATM machine.

Bottom line, asking too many questions in corrupt countries can get you killed. I learned this in Mexico, which is more dangerous than Uganda. I met a girl in Playa del Carmen who asked too many questions, the Police strapped her down naked in the middle of the police station and told her to stop asking questions. I learned this by accident, I was walking with her and she saw a policeman, she started crying and became panicky. She owned a 250,000 dollar house in Playa del Carmen and was going to lose the house if she walked away.

In the end, I have to weigh the value of the 450 U.S. Dollars to me, I must evaluate how far I can push the Uganda banker, how far to go, and what to do. Nobody is going to help me, I am alone here in Kisoro.

It is strange how a stupid the world can get, I told Debbie, this is the city where Dian Fossy from the Movie “Gorillas in the Mist” was killed. She knew this movie and it was the danger became relevant, I doubt she knows where Uganda is located, and will never know where Uganda is located. I wonder if she knows who Idi Amin is? I doubt she know the movie “The Last King of Scotland.”

The history of the world is not reported by the Movies… Too stupid for words, I would say,
“Remember, it is a movie, it is not real.”

The danger dramatically decreases when I become a moving target, this is always the safest action when in danger, to move, to travel. I will be leaving today as soon as I get a business card from the Bankers, I will tell them I am staying around to wait.

80 percent of me say this is just stupid bankers, 20 percent says it is a scam, however, I am 100 percent positive sitting around in one location asking a lot of questions is not worth 450 U.S. Dollars.

450 U.S. Dollars is one year of pay here in Uganda for the average person, would you tell a lie for one year of pay?

Danger in Kisoro Uganda


Review of Uganda from Kisoro

Review of Uganda from Kisoro
This is Andy of HoboTraveler.com, I plan on leaving Uganda today and think maybe a small review of the country of Uganda from a tourist point of view is needed.

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Kisoro, Uganda
East Africa
Monday, May 18, 2009

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There is only one reason to come to Uganda and that is to see Gorillas. At a cost of 500 U.S. Dollars for one day of viewing, this makes coming to Uganda truly ridiculous.

From a backpacker point of view, it is an extremely easy country to cross and nobody should feel inhibited from crossing on the way to Rwanda or Tanzania. It has cheap rooms and good transport, especially in comparison to Kenya.

This is one of the countries you can count on your list of countries without a problem and continue down the path without a worry.

Will I return to Uganda, I cannot think of any reason to return unless by chance I suddenly have a million dollars and want to pay 500 dollars to see Gorillas in a large zoo called Uganda.

Are the people friendly, the answer is no, they are not mean, but they do not care if I am here, they are not putting out a welcome wagon.

I see no reason for Christian Missionaries in to come to East Africa, so far these countries are almost more Christian than the USA, however really atheist in practice.

Hmm, there is probably more reasons to come to Uganda than Kenya, however a lot more expensive to reach here.

I think the Masai Mara may be the best place to look at Animals in East Africa, this is my gut feeling right now, and this is close to Nairobi, Kenya.

The area around the “Gorillas in the Mist” area is well farmed; the local environment is more about farming and does not have a jungle feeling. If you want the jungle feeling, better to go the Amazon, easier to get that Tarzan feeling.

I have not met any people only being tourists in Uganda, however I have met many missionaries, volunteers, or other misguided people who spend their whole time being tourist. They go on some mission or project and in the end spend their whole time being a tourist.

Look at the pictures of Uganda on this Travel Journal, they are for the most part boring, this is a modern country, it is not some tribal, walk around with no clothes country.

Review of Uganda from Kisoro