Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Rat traps, a US$145 T shirt and a slightly shortened runway. All in a days work?

A couple of days ago I bought a little clay charcoal stove from the lady above and I paid her her asking price, the sum of 46 pence ($0.80) This morning I was in our office in Kampala and the conversation revolved around the fall of Goma and overnight events in Bunia and our response to them. On monday the group of boys below were laughing with delight showing me how their rat traps worked, they were rather nifty little things not unlike mini bows and yet had the power to re-arrange the hairstyle or worse of any passing critter of the short and furry kind!

I am sitting across from the Emporio Armani Shop at Dubai International, heading back to the UK for a family funeral. Dubai shops are so so busy, even at 2 in the morning, folk are shopping like there is no tomorrow and I do wonder how all those overhead baggage bins are going to contain their purchases! Just thinking 300 mad shoppers on a 777 that could be another couple of tons of stuff - wonder if they include it in the weight and balance! Even with 327, 000 commercial aircraft movements last year this is still only the 11th busiest passenger airport (6th Cargo) in the world according to Wikapedia. Still however nicely made Armani clothing is US$145 for a t-shirt does seem a tad on the steep side, though in fairness it does have a beautifully made name tag?

Had a great choice of shoes at the friday market on Makindye Hill I think if I so wished I could have bought all 40 pairs for about 40 US$

Kotido probably gets 3 flights a week when busy and as a result it lacks a little TLC. The airstrip was moved from the centre of the small town to it's present position perhaps 7 years ago and whilst it has a nice set of fence posts concreted into the red soil,  the wire that joins them has long since gone, in  actual fact I think it went AWOL a few weeks after installation.  Well the 1500m dirt strip is now more like 1000m as a rather nasty hole has appeared on the runway, it seems to have been part filled in but it would even now be more than happy to re-arrange the nose wheel or prop given half a chance. It is on top of a culvert which runs across the width and under the airstrip, so we are not so sure what is happening there yet! So the culvert marks the end of the runway now.

A young woman travelling business class was asked to leave our flight before we could take off, I have no idea what it was about but matoke (Ugandan's favourite food- see right), drink, pride, bad temper and the confiscation of something special may or may not have been involved but either way the consequence of a good protracted rant was expensive!
The world is so full of contrasts, and values and things of importance change with ones Geography. It can be difficult to make sense of it all and I guess that is where faith can give balance to life's dilema's

1 comment:

  1. Yet another thought provoking post from you. Thank you very much for the reminder of just bad the divisions in our world are. People struggling to afford a pair of flip flops at one end of the scale and others paying crazy money for some with a posh label on them.
    Then you have people who truly know the value of water and will walk miles to get it even if it is filthy and disease riddled, whilst others don't even notice it when they drive along a road where they the state sprays good clean water on to roadside plants.
    As for the current conflict, my thoughts are with the people of Goma and Bunia and the surrounding areas. May they find long lasting and deep peace quickly.