Political Events

Writing from the Amsterdam Airport on the way home:

Apparently President Mouseveni blocked consideration of a horrible anti-gay bill Wed that may have come to a vote that day. It apparently does not have widespread support but is being pushed by one or a couple of supporters. In some of it’s versions it has specified killing of gays, and imprisoning anyone supportive of gay rights. I thought this had died down before I came but recently things were stirred up again.

Packing was complicated due to all the stuff I got, and figuring out how to get the long drum home! Finally we left around 2pm for the Zoo and airport in Entebbe. The right there was hair-raising for me at least, not for Larry. There were probably thousands of police of all types by the road, and several times traffic was stopped due to this being the day of President’s Inauguration. Considering the recent political situation I was a little concerned, and then to see roundabouts with hundreds of police there, some of their vehicles with flashing lights, and all was a little scary. Nothing was really happening however except celebrations for the most part. At one point the car in front of us hit the car in front of it, not to seriously. I did see police hitting some guy and heard a gunshot at one point but it was probably directed into the air, to let police know that some of the 19? presidents who’d come for the inauguration

were passing through. We pulled over to let them by.

The traffic thickened and it seemed something else was going on, with a police checkpoint and lots more security. There was a man standing and waving, and Larry recognized him as Besigye, the opposition leader returning from Nairobi where he got medical treatment after having

been tear-gassed and injured in one of the riots. People were waving and cheering him on. Why did I forget I had

a camera in my hand?! I was in shock.

Around this point not only did I see trucks of policemen, in kakhi, blue uniforms and also lots of the red -bereted military policeman, and yes, believe it or not about 5

or 6 tanks spread along the road around this area.

I took some video of this, being careful to hide the iphone if I thought police were looking at me, as you can never tell when they might get grumpy in such a special situation.

We made it safely to the zoo, where I proceeded to repack having purchased another suitcase, and rope to tie the drum in a rug. I hit my head hard on the car door, in a clutzy move probably because of the stress, and was bleeding for a little. So

we had lunch, and I got to relax. Tilapia by Lake Victoria, yum. The animals were wonderful; the injured one from parks heal up here before

going back to the wild. I will have pix soon. It was quite a last day in Uganda!

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About marahelmuth

Composer / researcher specializing in computer music, professor at CCM, at the University of Cincinnati. Embarking on a trip to Uganda April 13, 2011. I will be working with Teach and Tour Sojourners, who arrange tours in the parks and reserves and lectures at universities. On the tours I'll be recording wildlife sound and video, to be used in future compositions.
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