Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Water water everywhere.....

….and not a drop to drink. Well, not much anyway. We are surrounded on 3 sides by the mighty waters of Lake Victoria, but the powercuts are continuing, and we are now on day 4 without a proper water supply. Recycling is the order of the day. Dishwater is used to fill the cistern, and left over water boiled for tea is used to fill the washing bowl. A man on a motorbike comes once a day from Entebbe town to re-stock the meagre collection of plastic oil containers that are kept aside for situations such as we are experiencing.

Of course I must not complain too much. This is what fieldwork is all about. Ravel, unused to such stringent measures, is taking steps to avoid the water deficiency by making use of a local hotel’s facilities once a day. I have told him under no circumstances should he go swimming in the lake, for it harbours various nasty diseases including Bilharzia – a parasite that has wrecked many millions of peoples lives. I don’t want my most faithful research assistant laid up with a hundred worms dancing in his mesenteric veins.

Work does not stop. I have been kept inordinately busy by mine hosts, who are keen to collaborate and to hear of my skills with geographical equipment that derives ground locations in 3 dimensions from the triangulation of satellites (or something like that. I just press the power button and take readings). I have been so busy that I have fair neglected my other responsibilities, including dear Mrs Dr McCrumble, and the twins. Good evening to all of you – I shall make it home soon!

Footnote: As I mentioned previously, Ravel was up all night on the plane talking to a girl who was also travelling to Uganda (despite the sedative!). I understand that they have made a date, despite the language barrier. Aaah, I feel a twinge of nostalgia, and I do hope they have a happy time. That is, if I can afford to let Ravel out of the laboratory for a few hours.

P.S. It is the Ugandan elections tomorrow. So far, no indication of large scale trouble. I have been told that Friday will be the day to have bags packed ready for the off. Watch this space!


Gorilla Bananas said...

Are you going to give Ravel any fatherly advice about "precautions" before his date? There are more deadly infection than worms.

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

Ravel is well versed in playing it safe. As of the moment, he is confined to quarters pending relief of his upset stomach. The girl in question may pop round later to apply a hot towel.