To Moroto in the heart of Karamoja, North Eastern Uganda; another instructors workshop. Karamoja is really the last area of Uganda resisting westernisation.
Many women wear traditional clothes: a bright tartan like blanket for the upper half, many rows of beads around the neck denoting status; a short pleated kilt in another tartan and everyone carries a stick. Fewer men wear traditional clothes: a blanket; rather splendid headgear looking like a small quilted top hat in reds and greens and oranges; their sticks are bigger of course. All really hate being photographed, so no images here.
Apparently it was only recently that people in Karamoja started wearing anything more than the blanket/ stick/ bead/ hat combination, and you can see why. During the day it is (even for those of us used to Gulu temperatures) extremely hot. In our tin roofed hall for the workshop it was unbearable very quickly.
Until the last few years the Karamojong were still cattle rustling, raiding into other territories to steal cattle. Now that the area is peaceful, NGO’s are pouring in, but cows are still the main preoccupation and Karamojong remain nomadic at heart. Consequently there is no indigenous system of agriculture, breaking the earth is not something they have ever done. Nor are Karamojong that interested in doing it now, finding vegetables to eat was a challenge.
Moroto sits up against mountains that shimmer in the heat. There are plans to open the hills up for tourism one day, but tension is still high the further you get from towns. At this distance the view reminded me of the Dolomites, perhaps because the college we were working from was Italian founded. Another mission with red geraniums, basil, oregano and grape vines and enthusiastic young and not so young Italians. Mostly they come from the Veneto to Moroto, although water is a very scarce resource in the flat arid regions beyond the mountains.
A beautiful but hard country.
Oh, and in a compound in the centre of the college, were these Emus: big; aggressive; threatening and luckily, behind a fence.