So, it’s been a bumpy day… we were up bright & early (about 430am UK time!), but our drive got stuck in traffic for the best part of 2 hours, so sat, waited, and made use of the hotel wifi!
See more photos on Facebook (they are public so you shouldn’t need a Facebook account to see them) … I take photos for ‘memories’ and ‘cultural reminders’ rather than as good photos!
So many people, all busily doing things, most wearing a brilliant array of colours (poor living not get them down) – keen to wave & smile (yes, we definitely stand out!), walking for miles, carrying many loads in many different ways that wouldn’t pass health & safety regulations in the UK, but seems to work here… One thing that seems noticeable (if appearances are not deceptive) is the strong community links ongoing in the places we passed – people seem to spend much time with each other.
We also had fun with the driving styles – Ugandans certainly know how to beep the horn – mostly seems to indicate “I’m coming through”. And alongside all the roads is the kind of posters that would never have got through the Council for the Protection of Rural England – and many of those adverts are for mobile phones – particularly talk and text – smart phones don’t seem to be big … the only places with web addresses seem to be guesthouses looking to attract overseas visitors.
Tomorrow we head into Ogongora to see the work that’s being done there, and will get an opportunity to talk to those living there – I’m particularly interested in how digital has changed the relationships between charity/supporter, but also how mobile may have changed the lives of those in the villages – alongside everything else that they are doing!
So, I think it’s time for bed, so I have some brain cells for some creative thinking tomorrow, although with 3 days in the same village, it would be good to almost go and “be” for the first day, and then see where to go from there – but today’s journey has been helpful in thinking of a range of ideas.
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.