Uganda’s Adungu Harp

I was recently visiting churches in the refugee camps of northwestern Uganda and came across these wonderful instruments. Called an adungu (or ekidongo or ennenga in other languages) it is a sort of arched harp.

When arriving at one church, I heard music coming from inside. The bass was so clear that I assumed it was a speaker system. I looked around and saw no power lines at all and was curious how they were powering the audio system. Upon entering the church I saw three men playing adungus of different sizes. The largest (which was making the deep, clear bass tones) was so long that a little kid sat on the tail end and beat it like a drum!

BMC Construction

The Baptist Medical Centre where we live and work has been blessed with a very generous donation from the Helmsley Charitable Trust in the US. With the new funds, the hospital administration has been able to finish the new Outpatient & Administration building that was started five years ago. They have also begun a new project to build new hospital wards.

I recently flew my drone over the campus to get a birds-eye view of the progress of the construction.

Trey Turns 11

This fella turned eleven today! We’re holding off on a birthday party until his grandparents and some of this local friends who are gone on holiday get back. Nonetheless, he got to open some birthday presents and one was a drone. Below are some shots he took with it.

The Bird Trap

The Yellow Fronted Canary (crithagra mozambica) is a popular bird to keep as a pet in northern Ghana. It has a pleasant, uplifting song and chatters all the time.

I recently ran across some boys while out exploring on my bike and they answered my question of “How do folks catch these birds?” These kids had engineered some brilliant traps to snag these canaries in the wild.

Each trap is hung from a tree with a canary already in it – its song will attract others to the trap. On the top right of the trap is a spinning wheel with a millet stalk as its axle. The canary will land on that wheel to peck at the millet in the center and it will spin and drop the bird down into the cage.

A second contraption is also added on the top left. This is a spring loaded trap door that snaps shut when a bird lands in it and pecks at the millet bait.

Kudos to these two young inventors for making such a clever contraption!

Scarp visit with Christine

With Christine in town we had to take her to our favorite lookout point at the escarpment. Dr. Grossman and Richard Jandow, their translator for the research project, accompanied us for the hike.

It had been stormy all morning but before sunset the clouds cleared and the cliffs looked more beautiful than I’ve ever seen them before! I got the drone out and grabbed some incredible footage which I hope to edit and share soon.

Here are some photos I took from the air and Heidi took from the ground.


Kandi’s Baby Naming

Heidi’s friend Kandi who runs the All There Chop Bar in Nalerigu recently gave birth to a baby girl. This weekend they held the baby naming ceremony at her family house. Christine, Heidi and KJ went to greet her and give her gifts.

In the courtyard, the ladies were stirring t.z. in a giant pot to serve guests and relatives. We encouraged Christine to give it a try and see how insanely difficult it is to mix that starchy mash! Not an easy job.