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Location: Midwest, United States

Monday, March 23, 2009

Kampala, Uganda

I, as so many fellow bloggers do, have embedded a website tracking and counter system to intrigue me with (mostly) useless information. The data serve a purpose, though. They fuel my ego and satisfy my narcissistic needs. Hey, I’m human. I love to be loved...if only in fantasy, only in cyberspace...and only by a relative few.

Still, every now and then, I’ll spy something unusual. Something that makes me smile and, even better yet, ponder.

There was the individual who stumbled upon my blog late one night and, literally, read EVERY entry until the sun rose in the morning. And never returned.

And then there is the sojourner from Kampala. (S)he stopped by one day and stayed to read an entry or two or three. And dropped in again, and then again and again, to read systematically each entry, month by month, year by year, never commenting, never making his/her presence felt...(although felt it was).

Kampala, Uganda. Truth be told, Sitemeter isn’t all that accurate.
I can’t know if this visitor, this wayfaring stranger, even resides in Kampala. The locale may just be some digital way station somewhere along the electron highway. No matter. Kampala is the name I see;
in a country named Uganda on the continent we call Africa.

I’ve never been there. Neither the city, the country nor the continent. I feel embarrassed.

I’ve criss-crossed North America. I’ve traipsed through parts of Europe. It’s not that I haven’t travelled, I have. But not enough.
Not nearly enough.

And here’s this soul in Kampala.
A human being who has read my words and found a few that resonate (I presume). I want to meet this individual. I want to see, with my own eyes, what my fellow human beings see on different continents, in different time zones, where seasons are the opposite of mine, where Life manifests itself in ways I cannot fathom and, yet, despite that, where the human soul remains incredibly the same.

I want to see Kampala. Uganda. Africa. South America. Asia. Australia. I want to see EVERYTHING there is to see. Feel all there is to feel. Taste it all. Take pleasure in, and suffer along with, it all.

I’m just greedy that way.

And so, my nameless, faceless, unknowable Kampala friend, I thank you. I thank you for reminding me that there is so much to see, so many people to many experiences to experience.

I must get going. Ars longa vita brevis and all that...and toss in a bit o’ Carpe diem!

I must get going.

* * *


Anonymous joanne said...

it is an amazing and miraculous thing, this internet... to know that someone a world away is being touched by your words...

your words do touch... and i am not at all surprised that you have had visitors read through every post... i know i have read many of them myself... scrolling through the archives at times and finding something to take away.... something that made me just a little more aware... or created this or that feeling... or left me with a few thoughts here and there... or even taught me something...

people may be worlds away in miles and geography, but someone in Africa is feeling something ... something universal... something of connection... hearts obviously know nothing of distance... or for that matter, time...

Mon Mar 23, 11:17:00 PM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

I love perusing my sitemeter.. It makes me feel like I am not alone in my little neck of the woods! And you are right I feel a little greedy when I sign in... where have all my peeps gone this week.. etc. lol...
But I also feel like old friends drop in from time to time even though I may not know them by name and/or they don't comment. It's a new weird wonderful world we are all connected by eh?

Mon Mar 23, 11:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How lovely to read you feel the urge to move, to explore, to seek. It is spring, my friend, isn't it?

Tue Mar 24, 12:48:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Yes, Joanne, the internet is amazing, indeed! Particularly for one such as I who completed his Physics final using a slide rule. The following year, all of the students used calculators.

What a long, strange trip it's been!

And, yes, of are wise, most wise, my friend. Hearts don't wear wristwatches...and follow no maps.

Yes, Princess Cheese, it's a weird and wonderful world! (Moreso if one's hair is flaming red, I suppose).

My Tempest! Where you been? I've missed you!!!

It IS spring, and my synapses are all atwitter. I'm torn between the Peace Corps and puppy dogs and kitty cats. I'll sort it all out soon enough, I'm sure (once I satisfy my contractual obligations).

Tue Mar 24, 01:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoy your travels Jonas.

Tue Mar 24, 09:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sentiments shared jonas, but put together in a unique way. totally enjoyed reading this and the pictures are just inspiringly beautiful. travel, ah the anticipation of it, enjoy, until the day comes you hold the ticket and board the plane boat or train.

Tue Mar 24, 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Woman in a Window said...

Lovely Jonas, this was lovely.

I've never cared to look at my sitemeter. Just there in case of crazies, you know, or so I was told to install it for that reason. Maybe I'll take a look.

Tue Mar 24, 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

I have a reader from Tehran who has never once commented but comes to visit daily. I have often wondered what he/she is like.

Tue Mar 24, 08:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Roads said...

The Guardian has a three year project on the village of Katine in Uganda.

As a place to start finding out about life in Uganda, it's likely as good as any.

Did you see a film called The Last King of Scotland? It's a remarkable and highly recommended movie which tells the story of a young Scottish doctor who does a gap year in Africa in the 1970s, and ends up as Idi Amin's personal physician. The country has changed since then, I'm sure.

But maybe not yet enough.

Wed Mar 25, 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jonas,

Well, I am here in Seoul, South Korea when your heart decides to visit Asia!

As for Africa, I have known since I was a lil'un that I would one day end up there. Have not found the courage to go yet. Was offered a job in SUdan a few years ago, and Tanzania, but let them go....for now...for now....

I will be in your fair country in June (NYC, Washington DC for a conference, and Maine. After that, going to England and Poland then to my original homelnad of Australia then back to work in a busy break awaits me.

All the best.

Snowqueen...who still cannot access her blogger account as it does not recognise her password etc, etc....grrrrrrrrr

Wed Mar 25, 08:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ook at my sitemetwer stats sometimes and wonder aboutthe people who stop to read and disappear again. Once i got an email from a guy in Isreal who said he had goggles soemthing and the first hit was my blog, and that what I had writen had pulled him out of his sorrowful mood, and he just wanted to let me know. It made my day in the process.

Also, I've not been to Uganda but did go to Tanzania a few years ago. One of the most astounding expereinces of my life.

Wed Mar 25, 08:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Checking my stats alternately tantalises and terrorises me. Haha.

To read this makes me realise that the internet has the power to do so much good. It can reach so many people. What must people in faraway places think of our lives? It is something I often ponder.

Wed Mar 25, 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger Sunny Delight said...


Thu Mar 26, 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Meretricious Consideration said...

Greetings from Long Island, New York. :D

Fri Mar 27, 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Deb - I've always enjoyed my travels, even when the journey proved perilous! Life's a thrill ride...of sorts.

Yes, Tipota, I need a ticket in hand. A ticket to ride...

Thank you my Pella Princess. I'm sure your Sitemeter has many stories to tell.

Maria - Isn't that somethin'!?! Gotta love these silent sojourners!

Ah, Roads! You, my friend, are a paragon of virtue, of the human spirit and the inveterate wanderer!

As a mattrer of fact, I did view "The Last King of Scotland". Powerful stuff.

Your HIghness! So glad to have you drop by! Please send me an e-mail with your itinerary (the address is there on my profile). You, my friend, make me feel like an absolute piker when it comes to foreign travels. I bow to you in utmost respect.

The amazing thing, Citizen, is that EVERYONE who has been to Africa has come away changed in some way. I gotta see for myself why.

Fascinating comment, Selma. Terrorized? Do tell.

Sunny - Yes, ma'am!

Hello, Meretricious (really!?!). I linked back to your "public" blog and rather enjoyed the poetry you've posted there. Thank you!

Sat Mar 28, 11:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to your first entries and it's obvious why people read every post. Your first entries are like the start of a beautiful book. I won't be here all night but I'll be reading every page. I may even leave a comment or two under the assumption you know when comments are left on old posts.

What a talent for words you have.

Tue Apr 14, 09:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ps AWESOME playlist: I Saw You First, Wave on Wave, Sad & Deep As You, Beauty of the Rain, Coming Back to Me!!

Tue Apr 14, 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Hello, Mary...and thank you for your kind and gracious comments!

I hope you find something of value or interest here in my little corner of the world. Comments are always welcome!

Wed Apr 15, 01:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in Uganda but i do not suppose it isme you must have thought of (although i have read almost all your posts which somehow have helped me make certain leaps).

Uganda is nothing as been put out there. Africa is no different. It is not like you are going to another world as such. It is a beautiful place with very friendly people. Something that is a little on the thinner side in developed world i find.

Mon Apr 27, 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Hello, Anonymous! I'm very pleased to "meet" you. Methinks you are, in fact, the Ugandan reader who inspired this entry, given that no other visitor from Uganda has spent much time visiting here.

I've no doubt that Uganda is nothing as been put out there. No place ever is. As Aldous Huxley has remarked: “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”Thank you, again, for stopping by (and commenting)!

Tue Apr 28, 08:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok i admit. Yes i am the one. I very much enjoy reading your articles. They move me. Just to let you know i intend to keep reading as long as you keep writing. And thank you for such beautiful posts. Your command of English is excellent!! The name is Kijana as my father calls me.

Wed Apr 29, 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

You are too kind, Kijana. Thank you!

Wed Apr 29, 11:44:00 AM  

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