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By Gregg Prince on 5/24/2012 4:45 AM
Drinking at the Table of Men That's the slogan on a Guinness billboard we would see around the cities in Uganda, particularly Kampala: "Come Drink at the the Table of Men." It's one of the more humorous ones. Another, more ironic, sales pitch came from one of the banks. There's a picture of a man in a suit, smiling, with the word "WEALTH" in larger block letters with a smaller frame beneath and, written smaller, "It's waiting for you." Yeah, it's waiting all right. And it's going to be waiting a long time. Not that there aren't wealthy in Uganda. Our volunteer driver to the airport, Frank (Father Emmanuel's brother), pointed out the largest home in Uganda. He said it cost something like 15 million dollars. Even in the dark the expanse was impressive with many multi-colored lights around the property. He apparently owns one of the first shopping malls in Kampala among other things. Yep, shopping malls. We didn't visit any, just the strip mall where I purchased the airtime and data we used for our tablet...
By Gregg Prince on 5/22/2012 3:07 PM
So it's our last night in Uganda (unless you count waiting around the airport until our 2am Thursday morning flight a night) and it might be a good time to take stock of our progress and evaluate the plan from here. First and foremost, even with the dropouts and lookups here and there (which were mostly expected), the live stream from the Kitovu Medicine Depot funded by Reaching Out 2 Africa was decidedly a success. As we're the tours and updates from other ROTA projects we visited during the past 10 days. On the technical side, who knew that streaming video live Ugnada to the rest of the world over a 3G cellular data connection would work surprisingly well, yet uploading photos and videos for Facebook and YouTube would be difficult and time consuming? That's personally been my biggest source of frustration, not being able to share the experience with you more quickly and completely. On the other hand, we have several interesting interviews, loves of video footage (of admittedly varying quality) and what are...
By Gregg Prince on 5/21/2012 1:38 AM
This morning, before the bells of the Monestary rang, we were awoken by thunder and the sound of rain hitting the trees and bushes. It was the first amount of rain during daylight hours (even though it was barely daylight) that we've experienced and was nothing like the torrential downpour overnight last week. Father Emmanuel says now it will pass so the rain will not return today. There is lightning here every night. Every time you look into the night sky long enough, and you don't have to look too long, you see flashes of light here and there. Because there is very little ambient light (especially at this distance from the city) I imagine some of it is from very far away. I wish I could somehow capture the night sky. It looks exactly like the star maps you may have seen as a child in a geography book. The entire sky wraps over you like an actual dome and you can see stars and light I have never seen before in my life. Even if I could take a picture or a video it would not look the least bit like what I...
By Gregg Prince on 5/18/2012 4:18 AM
Im writing this from the graduation Mass at Butende National Seminary. Since we are not as close to the city of Masaka Internet access is available but limited unlike in Kampala. Bishop Santos Wanok of Nebbe preached a poignant and inspirational Homily to the Seminarians and guests. Perhaps I'll have time to share more about that later. I also have a neat video of Our own Deacon Matt Hens at the Offertory which won't upload but hopefully sometime this weekend I can get wifi access and share that and others visuals with you. I realize you'd probably also like to hear more about our experiences and again, all due apologize. A lot of time has been spent traveling and dealing with the (mostly expected) technical issues. We didn't seem to have many of those at our dedication site for later today so we hope you'll try to join us at 9:45 EST this morning at http://www.ustream.tv/user/buffalodiocese - if it doesn't rain, which has been threatening all morning. Our priest friend Father Angelo from the Sudan has told me there is no prayer for NO rain, only FOR rain! Well, if somebody back in Buffalo could invent one quick, it sure would help. That being said, if it rains on our ceremony today that will be considered by the people here a great blessing. Maybe I should just shut up and deal with it .... :-)
By Gregg Prince on 5/16/2012 3:42 PM
Just a quick entry to apologize for the delay in blog entries. We've had a busy couple of days with lots of visits and tours as well as scheduling and technical challenges, all to be expected on an excursion like this and nothing dramatic but it has prevented me from sharing stories, photos and videos. As we'd like. In case you're not following on Facebook (and I can't imagine why you wouldn't, he says with a grin) if you're free tomorrow at around 4pm Buffalo time you can tune into our Ustream test from the Medical Depot site in Masaka. Your comments there would help me know if the video is working and give everyone an idea what to expect on Thursday. Thanks and here's the link: http://www.ustream.tv/user/buffalodiocese
By Gregg Prince on 5/15/2012 6:23 AM
We're about halfway through our flight from Istanbul to Entebbe. Below out the window I can see some LARGE city somewhere in Africa. You could probably figure it out but since I don't have the magic screen with the map info on this flight I can't even guess. It's hard to believe that 24 hours ago I was mowing the lawn in West Seneca. All of a sudden I get off a plane in Turkey and now I am flying over Africa and, a few short hours from now, will land there. You know what else is hard to believe? That above me on the small TV screen is Dolly Parton and Queen Latifa. Huh?? Am I really on Turkish Air? The world certainly is smaller than when I was learning geography from the Stella nuns at St. Michael's school in Warsaw. So this where all those coins we filled those milk boxes with went? Well, some of it anyway. And oddly enough I'm here with the guy who is now in charge of the milk boxes. I'm pretty sure I never had this mind almost 25 years ago when I was an intern in the Office of Communications. Then...
By Gregg Prince on 5/15/2012 4:26 AM
We were pretty much right on time into Istanbul, which was a good thing since the instructions for where we made our connection were contradictory at best. Father Ron actually got in the correct line but we talked him out of it. Guess who's back in charge from here on out?! The airport reminded me a bit of O'Hare: busy, lots of connections and some distance to travel to get to your next flight. Let's just say we got our run in today. And lucky me, we had to go through a security checkpoint AGAIN so I got to empty the Portabrace AGAIN! Well,  just the tablets this time and then the X-ray guy didn't ask any more questions. Whew! I didn't have a window seat flying in to Istanbul but was close enough that I could see the city as we Let me back up just a second: the young lady next to me slept a great deal of the flight so had the shades down, but opened them at one point just in time to look down on the Swiss Alps. How cool is that?! Okay, Istanbul reminded me again of Chicago with a mix of urban and suburban...
By Gregg Prince on 5/14/2012 9:27 AM
We got out of Buffalo on time and into Chicago early. Good thing since we had to take the monorail at O'Hare (I think there was more than one rail actually, but let's just go with it) to what I'm pretty sure was a completely different airport. They call it Terminal M and as expected the security check made Buffalo-Niagara seem like a pat down at the First Niagara Center (in case you haven't been to a Sabres game recently - and none of us have, but that's another story - pat down is, "Open your coat and purse please; concessions are that way"). They took almost everything out of the equipment bag and then ran it through x-ray AGAIN so they could look at every adapter, accessory, gadget, microphone, cord, power supply, camera, camcorder, and the roll of gaffer tape. That's like duct tape but made out of cloth and the sticky part is designed to hold tight but not leave its stickiness all over everything. Thanks to the Daybreak TV crew, particularly Peter Herrmann their engineer, for that and the highly convenient...
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